Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

A series of verse by verse studies by Gunther von Harringa Sr

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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2 Peter 2 - Part 16

February 18, 2017


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


Toward the end of our last study, we began looking at verse 11, which states, “Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” In this verse we note that God is contrasting“angels” (keep in mind that these can refer to the elect, to angels, or to God Himself) with these false teachers, underscoring the fact that these “angels” who are “...greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them…”


Greater In [meizon:G3187] Power [isychus:G2479] And [kai:G2532] Might [dynamis:G1411]


The term, “greater” - is a comparative form of the word, “great” (megas:G3173), as in “great tribulation” (thlipsis:G2347) - here are some illustrations of its usage:


In John 15:20, it is rendered as “greater than”: “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than [meizon:G3187] his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”


Referring to Esau, Romans 9:12 translates this term as, “the elder”: “It was said unto her, The elder [meizon:G3187] shall serve the younger.” [Jacob]


In Hebrews 9:11, it is expressed as “a greater”: “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater [meizon:G3187] and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;”


Lastly, in James 4:6 it is simply rendered as “more”: “But he giveth more [meizon:G3187] grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”


Power [isychus:G2479] And Might [dynamis:G1411]


In 2 Peter 1, we encountered the word for “might” in verses 3 and 16, in which it appears as “power”:  


“According as his divine power [dynamis:G1411] hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: ... {16} For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power [dynamis:G1411] and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”


Both words, “power” and “might” do appear together, in three other references, besides 2 Peter 2:11,


In Ephesians 1:19, they are rendered as “power” and “mighty”: “And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power [dynamis:G1411] to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty [isychus:G2479] power,” 


This passage reminds us of Philippians 2:13, which expresses the amazing work of God’s Spirit in the lifetime of each one of His children during their earthly sojourn (“thief on the Cross vs. Mr. Camping for instance) - and even more astounding - throughout eternity: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.” Colossians 1:26-27 beautifully underscores this incomparable relationship between the child of God and His beloved Savior, as God continues to reveal the depths of the knowledge of God, which no other generation of believers in history have ever been privy to: “[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: {27} To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Let me hasten to add, that with this storehouse of knowledge comes enormous responsibility that we must take very, very seriously, as Luke 12:48 admonishes in part: 


“...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:...”


This unsealing of the “book” (i.e., the Bible) began at the start of the Great Tribulation on May 21, 1988 and is spoken of in Revelation 5:5. However, I would like to draw your attention to the outpouring of holy adoration that follows in verses 8-12. In reading this we are ushered into the very presence of God Himself - into the very “holy of holies” - as it were. In verse 12, the same terms in 2 Peter 2:11, “power” and “might”  are rendered “power” and “strength.” I’ll read verses 1-12 as this chapter is so powerfully relevant to us today: 


“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.{2} And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? {3} And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. {4} And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. {5} And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. {6} And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts [“living creatures”], and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. {7} And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. {8} And when he had taken the book, the four beasts [“living creatures”] and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. {9} And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; {10} And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. {11} And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts [“living creatures”] and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;{12} Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power [dynamis:G1411], and riches, and wisdom, and strength [isychus:G2479], and honour, and glory, and blessing.”


Try reading this chapter slowly and ponder what is taking place when you are overcome with problems that seem insurmountable at times, and you will find that those problems, in comparison, quickly melt away, as the refrain from Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus declares,


Turn you eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.


Just as in 2 Peter 2:11, Revelation 7:12 also renders these two words as, “power” and “might”: “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power [dynamis:G1411], and might [isychus:G2479], [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”


I’ll quote 2 Peter 2:11 again: “Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.”


Bring [phero:G5342] Not [ou:G3756] Railing [blasphemos:G989 - the root word for G988] Accusation [krisis:2920] Against [kata:G2596] Them [autos:G846]


In our previous study, I also quoted Jude 9, which contains the same terms, “railing” and “accusation.” as 2 Peter 2:11. 


“Yet Michael [i.e., Christ] the archangel [“Chief Messenger”], when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing [blasphemia:G988] accusation [krisis:G2920 - primarly translated as “judgment”], but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”


Please note that in this verse, Christ is appealing to “the Lord” (kyrios:G2962) - to Himself, along with the other two Members of the Trinity - the Father and the Holy Spirit - as they function together synergestically, albeit with separate roles. This highlights an important Biblical principle regarding “at (or ‘in’) the mouth of two or three witnesses” which is found in the Old Testament - and also quoted in the New Testament, as these next citations reveal:


Deuteronomy 19:15 declares “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter [dabar:H1697] be established.


And Matthew 18:16 quotes Deuteronomy 19:15, “But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”


This is also the case in 2 Corinthians 13:1, “This [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”


I would also like to point out that the Hebrew word, “shall the matter” in Deuteronomy 19:15 is “dabar” (H1697), which is primarily rendered throughout the Old Testament as “word” - which is why both Matthew 18:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:1 translate it as “word” (rhema:G4487)


Bring [phero:G5342] Not [ou:G3756] 


Let’s now consider the term, “bring not” in the phrase, “...bring not railing accusation…”


We actually came across this word at the end of 2 Peter 1, in verse 21, but I did not elaborate on it at that time, so I will now:


In 2 Peter 1:21 is one of the most important verses in the entire Bible that solemnly attributes the Authorship of the Bible to eternal God; in this passage, “bring” is expressed as both “came” and “moved”: “For the prophecy came [phero:G5342] not [ou:G3756] in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved [phero:G5342] by the Holy Ghost.”

 

Just as we saw that the Divine Members of the Trinity operate togther, so the child of God cannot function successfully apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, according to John 15:5; these terms are translated as “bringeth forth,” and “nothing”: “I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth [phero:G5342] much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” [ou:G3756] 


John 21 speaks of our current “time and season” - that of “feeding sheep.” These words are rendered as “carry not” in verse 18: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry [phero:G5342] [thee] whither thou wouldest not.” [ou:G3756] 


In Hebrews 12:20, they appear as “could not endure” in this very incisive portrait of those Israelites who, because thy were not saved, never made it to the Promised Land - which parallels the period of “fiery trial” that we are living through nowadays: “(For they could [phero:G5342] not endure [phero:G5342] that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:”


And in 2 John 1:10, they are presented as “bring not”: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed:”



2 Peter 2:12


We continue reading in 2 Peter 2:12, concerning these “false teachers”: 


2 Peter 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;”


But [de:G1161] These [houtos:G3778] As [hos:G5613] Natural [physikos:G5446] Brute [alogos:G249] Beasts [zoon:G2226]


This is a verse like a number of others that we have run across, which is only found again in the book of Jude, which is a chapter that closely parallels 2 Peter 2, as I have mentioned in the past.  The first phrase in this passage is comprised of six Greek words, and four of the main words are also found in Jude 10; they are others too, which, Lord willing, we will get to shortly:


Jude 10, “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally [physikos:G5447], as [hos:G5613] brute [alogos:G249] beasts [zoon:G2226], in those things they corrupt themselves.”


Natural [physikos:G5446] And Naturally [physikos:G5447]


The two terms, “natural” in 2 Peter 2:11, and “naturally” in Jude 10, are essentially the same word; the former is an adjective (and root word) for the latter, which is an adverb, and only found in Jude 10. G5446 appears in Romans 1:26 and 27, as “the natural”: 


“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural [physikos:G5446] use into that which is against nature: {27} And likewise also the men, leaving the natural [physikos:G5446] use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”


The emphasis in Romans 1:26-27 is the departure from God’s laws - on a physical level - which also mirrors the spiritual dimension as well.


Brute [alogos:G249] 

The next word that we are interested in is “brute,” which besides 2 Peter 2:11, and Jude 10, only surfaces in Acts 25:27, as the expression, “unreasonable.” I’ll read verse 24-27, for the sake of the context:


“And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and [also] here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. {25} But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. {26} Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. {27} For it seemeth to me unreasonable [alogos:G249] to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes [laid] against him.” 


In this passage we see, among other things, what we in the United States have adopted from the Romans, namely the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” It’s also helpful to recognize that this  Greek word “unreasonable” is a compound word, made up of  “a-” (alpha:G1) and “logos” (G3056), in other words, “without the word,” which helps to clarify that these “false teachers” spoken about in  2 Peter 2:11 and Jude 10 do not have “The Word” abiding in them, as we read, for example, in John 5:37-40, during the “day of salvation”:


“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. {38} And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. {39} Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. {40} And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” 


The reality of these “false teachers’” lack of understanding will become even more apparent as we continue to carefully work through these 30 negative attributes that characterize these “false teachers.”


Beasts [zoon:G2226]


The word, “beasts,” or more accurately, “living creatures” appears quite often in the book of Revelation (as we saw earlier in Revelation 5) - referring to God Himself -  where it is found in the majority of cases, apart from 2 Peter 2:11 and Jude 10, which deal with “false teachers.” Curiously, it shows up in verse 11 of Hebrews 13, as part of this exhortation to God’s people; I’ll read from verse 9 down to verse 14, and please note the warning about “divers and strange doctrines” in verse 9:


“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For [it is] a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. {10} We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. {11} For the bodies of those beasts  [zoon:G2226], whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. {12} Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. {13} Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. {14} For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” 


In this context we see another contrast between the ceremonial sacrifices performed “without the camp” with the demonstration or tableau that Christ hung naked on the Cross “without the gate” or outside of the city walls of Jerusalem [earlier known as Mount Moriah, where the foundation of the Temple was laid in the “threshing-floor” of Ornan the Jebusite, where the plague (that killed 70,000) was stopped in David’s day, and God commanded him to build an altar there - in the very same spot that Abraham was told by God some 900 years earlier to sacrifice his “only-begotten son,” Isaac!] 


What is noteworthy about this, as it pertains to our verse about “false teachers” who are spoken of as “beasts” or “ceremonial sacrifices,” is that they themselves are the very sacrifice for their own sins, as are all the non-elect, according to Zephaniah 1:7-9, which is set against the backdrop of our prolonged “day of judgment”:  


“Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD [is] at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. {8} And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. {9} In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit.”


Made [gennao:H1080] To [eis:G1519] Be Taken [halosis:G259] And [kai:G2532] Destroyed [pthora:G5356]


What I just commented on with respect to these false teachers is corroborated by the next phrase in 2 Peter 2:12, “...made to be taken and destroyed…” 


Made [gennao:H1080] 


The term “made” is predominantly translated as “born”  or “begat” as these next citations illustrate:

Mark 14:21 explains, “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had [gennao:G1080] never been born.” [gennao:G1080]


The Lord Jesus declared to Nicodemus in John 3:6, That which is born [gennao:G1080] of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born [gennao:G1080] of the Spirit is spirit.”


Romans 9:11discusses one aspect of God’s sovereign salvation program - when irt was still available: “(For [the children] being [gennao:G1080] not yet born,[gennao:G1080] neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)”


Galatians 4:23-29 further elaborates on those who are “born” (or “gendereth”) “after the spirit” vs. “after the flesh”: “But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born [gennao:G1080] after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise. {24} Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth [gennao:G1080] to bondage, which is Agar. {25} For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. {26} But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. {27} For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. {28} Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. {29} But as then he that was born [gennao:G1080]  after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now.”


To [eis:G1519] Be Taken [halosis:G259] 


The two words “to be taken” are only found in this passage, and the root word is questionable, so I’m going to skip this for now.


And [kai:G2532] Destroyed [pthora:G5356] Speak Evil [blasphemeo:G987] Of [en:G1722] 


We discusssed the term, “speak evil of” in verse two of this chapter, so I won’t go over that again, so let’s continue to the next phrase:


We have also considered the term, “speak evil of,” in verse 10, in an earlier study, so why don’t we focus on the last two Greek terms in this phrase, namely...


The Things That [hos:G3739] They Understand Not [agnoeo:G50]


These two words are only found in two other references, besides here in 2 Peter 2:11,


Acts 17:23 records, “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this [en:G1722] / [hos:G3739] inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom [hos:G3739]  therefore ye ignorantly [agnoeo:G50] worship, him declare I unto you.”


And Romans 11:25 makes this important point: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant [agnoeo:G50]  of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until [achri:G891] / [hos:G3739] the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”


I think we’ll have to stop here today. Lord willing, we’ll take a closer look at the two words that make up this Greek compound word, “they understand not” in our next study, plus we want to finish up with verse 12, and if God allows, move on to verse 13.






 



2 Peter 2 - Part 17

                                                       March 4, 2017


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


They Understand Not [agnoeo:G50]


At the end of our last study I said that we would take a closer look at the two terms that make up the Greek compound word, “they understand not,” as well as the rest of verse 12, before moving on to verse 13. This term is made up of  the “alpha” (G1) negative, and “noeo” (G3539), which is primarily translated as “understand,” and once or twice, as “perceive,” “consider,” and “think.” By placing the “alpha” negative in front of this word, “understand,” it negates altogether, thereby rendering it as “they understand not.” The following references illustrate how God has chosen to employ this term, “understand” (noeo:G3539):


1 Timothy 1:6-8  is a verse that ties in to 2 Peter 2, since they both speak of  “false teachers,” in which this word is rendered as “understanding” in verse 7: “From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; {7} Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding [noeo:G3539] neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. {8}| But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully;”


Matthew 24:15 translates this word as: “let him understand,” in this passage which refers to God allowing Satan to rule in the end-time institutional churches and denominations that God abandoned on May 21, 1988, which marked the beginning of the 23-year Great Tribulation of our day; here we see that the “understanding” that is in view is sound, Biblical, and according to Truth, requiring God to open the eyes of His elect to it:“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” [noeo:G3539]


John 12:40 is one of a half a dozen or so verses in the New Testament which quote Isaiah 6:9-10, a most significant declaration regarding the nature of God’s sovereign redemptive program (during the “day of salvation”), which many choose to willfully ignore: “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand [noeo:G3539] with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”


Romans 1:20 highlights the fact that God has revealed His nature to mankind through the undeniable wonders of Creation: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood [noeo:G3539] by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”


Ephesians 3:20 underscores the extent of God’s undeserved mercy and blessing which He continually pours out upon His elect, moment by moment, in which this word is rendered as “think”: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, [noeo:G3539] according to the power that worketh in us,”


Lastly, Hebrews 11:1-3 and verse 6 underscore the vital relationship that exists between faith and understanding, which the elect have received, and by which they operate, according to God’s enabling, in which this expression surfaces in verse 3 as “we understand”: “Now faith is the substance [hypostasis:G5287 - or “Person,” “confidence,” i.e., “Christ”] of things hoped for, the evidence [elegchos:G1650 - or “reproof” - as in 2 Timothy 3:16] of things not seen. {2} For by it the elders obtained a good report. {3} Through faith we understand [noeo:G3539] that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. ... {6} But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” 


Keep in mind this word, “the substance,” as I will return to this at the end of our study.


And Shall Utterly Perish [kataphtheiro:G2704] In [en:G1722] Their Own [autos:G846]  Corruption [pthora:G5356]


The last part of verse 12, is made up of four Greek words: “...and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” Incidentally, the word, “corruption” is the same term, “destroyed” that we saw in the first part of verse 12, and which we discussed when we were investigating 2 Peter 1:4, which states:


“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption  [pthora:G5356]

 that is in the world through lust.”


And Shall Utterly Perish [kataphtheiro:G2704] 


The term, “...and shall utterly perish…” in 2 Peter 2:13 only surfaces in one other citation - 2 Timothy 3:8 - in which it is expressed as “of corrupt”:


“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt [kataphtheiro:G2704] minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”


G2704 is a compound word comprised of the terms, “kata” (G2596 - “according to”), and the main word, “phtheiro” (G5351), which in Jude 10 (a parallel chapter to 2 Peter 2), it is rendered as “they corrupt themselves”:


“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.” [phtheiro:G5351]


That brings us down to verse 13:


Verse 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;


And Shall Receive [komizo:G2865] The Reward [misthos:G3408] Of Unrighteousness [adikia:G93]


The first phrase in verse 13 is comprised of three words, which only are found together in this verse, however the last two terms, “the reward of unrighteousness,” surfaces in two other citations, and one of them is in verse 15 of this same chapter, in which it is rendered as, “the wages of unrighteousness”:


2 Peter 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 [misthos:G3408] of unrighteousness;” [adikia:G93]


The other one is in Acts 1:18, regarding the death of Judas Iscariot, and is translated as “the reward of iniquity”: “Now this man purchased a field with the reward [misthos:G3408] of iniquity [adikia:G93]; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”


The expression, “received” (komizo:G2865) also pertains very specifically to our day, as the following passages explain:


2 Corinthians 5:10 notes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive [komizo:G2865] the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.”


And Hebrews 10:36 exhorts, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive [komizo:G2865] the promise.”


[As] They That Count [hegeomai:G2233] It Pleasure [hedone:G2237] To Riot [tryphe:G5172]


The next phrase, “...[as] they that count it pleasure to riot…” is composed of three words as well, which we will have to examine individually, as they only appear together in this verse. We have already considered the first one, “...[as] they that count…” when we were discussing chapter 1, verse 13, in which it is rendered as “I think it”:


“Yea, I think it [hegeomai:G2233] meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance;”


It Pleasure [hedone:G2237] 


The term for “pleasure” in this phrase is used four other times; here are a few illustrations, in which these two terms are translated as “pleasures”:


Luke 8:14, “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures [hedone:G2237] of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”


Titus 3:3, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, [hedone:G2237] living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.”


There is another compound expression - “lovers of pleasure” - in  2 Timothy 3:4  which contains this term G2237 as the primary word, and only found in this verse; I’ll read verses 1-5, which makes the all important distinction between the elect and the non-elect, with regarding to obeying God’s Word - as the definition of genuine Biblical love is encapsulated in obedience - and not merely an external show of “godliness”:


“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. {2} For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, {4} Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures [philedonos:G5369 - made up of “philos” (G5384) and “hedone” (G2237)] more than lovers of God; {5} Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”


To Riot [tryphe:G5172]


The last term in this phrase, “to riot,” only appears again in Luke 7:25, as “delicately,” 


“But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately [tryphe:G5172], are in kings' courts.”


G5172 is an old English word that again denotes worldly “luxury,” and “comfort” - in other words, “...the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life...” that was Satan’s BIG LIE in the Garden of Eden, causing Adam and Eve to desire “pleasure” more than God Himself, Who in reality is the GREATEST source of true pleasure, as the following citations so beautifully testify: 


Psalm 16:11 promises, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures [na`iym:H5273] for evermore.”


Likewise, Psalm 36:8 affirms: “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” [`eden:H5730]


Incidentally, the expression, “of thy pleasures” in Psalm 36:8 is the Hebrew word “ `eden” (G5730), which is identical to the name of the Garden of  “ `Eden” (H5731), where God placed Adam and Eve at the very beginning, and for a brief period of time, God was their sole desire and they delighted themselves in Him alone, which will also be the wonderful reality that God’s people can look forward to throughout eternity in “the New Heavens and New Earth.” 


In [en:G1722] The Day Time [hemera:G2250]


We encountered the next Greek word for “the day time,” when we were discussing verse 9 of this chapter, so let’s proceed on to the rest of verse 13; by the way this is the same term that we find in John 9:4, relating to the “day of salvation”:


“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day [hemera:G2250]: the night cometh, when no man can work.”


The next description of these “false teachers” (remember there are 40 such epithets) are “spots” and “blemishes.” We also want to keep in mind - even though we have gone through the Great Tribulation - and we are fully immersed in the “day of judgment,” that the chief characteristic of the Great Tribulation was “deception” on a scale that this world has never witnessed, as we read in the following passages from Matthew 24:4-5, 11, and 23-24, recognizing that such apostasy did not automatically come to a screeching halt, once the “day of judgment” began, but continues on as this world remains under the wrath of God:


“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. {5} For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. ... {11} And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. ... {23} Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. {24} For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”


2 Timothy 3:13 corroborates this as well: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”


Spots [spilos:G4696] [They Are] And [kai:G2532] Blemishes [momos:G3470]


The two words, “spots” and “blemishes” are only found together in this verse, so we will have to consider them individually:


The term “spots” only surfaces one other time in Ephesians 5:27, in which it is rendered as “spot,” having to do with sin, and accompanied by the similar expressions, “wrinkle,” “any such thing,” and “without blemish” [the same as in our verse with the “alpha” (negative)  (G1) prefix]:


“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot [spilos:G4696], or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” [amomos:G299 - from “a” (G1) and “momos” (G3470)]


Blemishes [momos:G3470]


This term, “blemishes,” is derived from a root or “parent” word - “memphomai” (G3201) signifying, “to find fault,” as these next citations maintain:


Mark 7:2 records: “And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.” [memphomai:G3201]


Romans 9:19 adds, “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? [memphomai:G3201] For who hath resisted his will?”


Lastly, Hebrews 8:8 announces God’s displeasure with respect to both of the external representations of the kingdom of God on earth (i.e., national Israel and the New Testament churches and denominations): “For finding fault [memphomai:G3201] with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:”


Sporting Themselves [entryphao:G1792] With [en:G1722] Their Own [autos:G846] Deceivings [apate:G539]


The next phrase in verse 13 consists of four Greek words, “...sporting themselves with their own deceivings…”


Sporting Themselves [entryphao:G1792] 


The first term, “sporting themselves,” is only found here; actually it too, is a compound verb, made up of the preposition, “in,” (en:G1722) and the main word, “tryphao” (G5171), which is derived from the Greek noun, “to riot” (tryphe:G5172) that we saw earlier in today’s study, and G5171 only appears in James 5:5, and is translated as “Ye have lived in pleasure”: 


Ye have lived in pleasure [tryphao:G5171] on the earth, and been wanton [i.e., “lovers of pleasure”]; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.”



With [en:G1722] Their Own [autos:G846] Deceivings [apate:G539]


The term, “deceivings” (in various forms) surfaces in 6 other passages, highlighting man’s innate spiritual blindness, which could only be rectified or “cured” during the 13,023 years of the “day of salvation,” by the “Great Physician” Himself -  the Lord Jesus Christ:


Matthew 13:22 (and its parallel account in Mark 4:19) translate this term as “the decitfulness” in the parable of the “sower”: “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness [apate:G539] of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”


Ephesians 4:22 presents this admonition, and notice how God associates once again “deceitful” with “lusts,” as was mentioned earlier: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful [apate:G539] lusts;”


Colossians 2:8 further warns: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, [apate:G539] after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”


In 2 Thessalonians 2:10 God also joins “deceivableness” with “unrighteousness,” (or “sin”) along with “received not the love of the truth” - during the “time and season” when salvation existed: “And with all deceivableness [apate:G539] of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”


Lastly Hebrews 3:13 provides a very serious admonition for our current “day of judgment,” comparing it to the 40-year wilderness sojourn; I’ll read verses 6-14 for the sake of the context: 


“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. {7} Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, {8} Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: {9} When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. {10} Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways. {11} So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) {12} Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness [apate:G539]  of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence [hypostasis:G5287] stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” 


I would also like to point out something else in verse 14 of Hebrews 3, regarding the word, “of our confidence,”  (hypostasis:G5287) which I mentioned earlier in today’s study when we were discussing the vital relationship between “faith” (i.e., Christ) and “understanding” in Hebrews 11:3 and 6, in which I quoted verses 1-6. I remarked that this same word, rendered “Person” and “confidence” in both Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 3:14, is also found in one other place, Hebrews 1:3, as the term, “person” again:


“Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person [hypostasis:G5287], and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”


Lord willing, we will pick up where we left off in our next study.


2 Peter 2 - Part 18

                                                      March 11, 2017


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”



With [en:G1722] Their Own [autos:G846] Deceivings [apate:G539]


Toward the end of our last study, when we were discussing the word, “deceivings” (apate:G539), I had mentioned Hebrews 3:13, which is translated as “deceitfulness” in verse 13, and  provides a very serious admonition for our current “day of judgment,” comparing it to the 40-year wilderness sojourn; I’ll read verses 6-14 for the sake of the context: 


“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. {7} Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, {8} Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: {9} When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. {10} Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways. {11} So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) {12} Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness [apate:G539]  of sin. {14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence [hypostasis:G5287] stedfast unto the end; {15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. {16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. {17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? {18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” 


Additionally we discover the word, “of our confidence,” (hypostasis:G5287) in verse 14, which I also mentioned in our study last week when we were discussing the vital relationship between “faith” (i.e., Christ) and “understanding” in Hebrews 11:3 and 6, in which I quoted verses 1-6. I remarked that this same word, rendered “Person” and “confidence” in both Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 3:14, is also found in one other place, Hebrews 1:3, as the term, “person” again.


[There are other two times (5 in all) that this word, G5287, is rendered as “confident (-ence)” boasting on the part of the Apostle Paul, as he was trying to drive home a point, under divine inspiration in 2 Corinthians 9:4 and 11:17.]


While They Feast [syneuocheomai:G4910] With You [hymin:G5213]


The last two words in 2 Peter 2:13 are: “...while they feast with you,” which only show up together in Jude 12, as “when they feast” and “with you”:


“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast [syneuocheomai:G4910] with you [hymin:G5213], feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;”


Let’s continue to verse 14, which states:


Verse 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:”


The first phrase in this verse contains 4 words, which are only found together here, so we will consider them individually:


Having [echo:G2192] Eyes [opthalamos:G3788] Full [mestos:G3324] Of Adultery [moichalis:G3428]



Eyes [opthalamos:G3788]


This Greek noun surfaces 101 times as “eye” and once as “sight,” according to the subsequent citations. The passage in which this expression is presented as “sight” is in Acts 1:9; I’ll read verses 1-9 for the sake of the context:


“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus [Theophilos:G2321 - from “Theos” (G2316) and “philos” (G5384)], of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, {2} Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: {3} To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: {4} And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me. {5} For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. {6} When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? {7} And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. {8} But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. {9} And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” [opthalamos:G3788] {10} And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; {11} Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”


In our previous study we discussed the term, “pleasure” in verse 13 in the phrase, “...as they that count it pleasure to riot in the daytime...” This same word for “pleasure” (hedone:G2237) is found as the main component in the compound word, “lovers of pleasure,” that led us to 2 Timothy 3:4,


“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. {2} For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, {4} Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures [philedonos:G5369 - from “philos” (G5384) and “hedone” (G2237) more than lovers of God [philotheos:G5377 - from “philos” (G5384) and “theos” (G2316)] ; {5} Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”


The term, “lovers of God” is comprised of the same two words that make up the name “Theophilus” [Theophilos:G2321 - from “Theos” (G2316) and “philos” (G5384)]


Notice, if you will, the close association with the term, “adultery” (moichalis:G3428), which reminds us of 1 John 2:16, in which this word appears as “of the eyes”:


“For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, [opthalamos:G3788] and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”


This same Greek word for “eyes” is also found in connection with Isaiah 6:9-10 - that excellent insight into the nature of God’s salvation program - which is quoted in the following four passages:


Matthew 13:15 maintains, “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes [opthalamos:G3788] they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes,[opthalamos:G3788] and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”


Likewise we read in the 4th Gospel 12:40, “He hath blinded their eyes, [opthalamos:G3788] and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, [opthalamos:G3788] nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”


Acts 28:27 adds, “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes [opthalamos:G3788] have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, [opthalamos:G3788] and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”


Lastly, Romans 11:8 declares, “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes [opthalamos:G3788] that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”


Full [mestos:G3324] Of Adultery [moichalis:G3428]


The next two terms, “full of adultery” only appear together in this passage, so we can consider these two words separately:

Full [mestos:G3324] 


The word, “full” is also rendered as such, and found in 7 other citations, which as so many words that we have encountered, can exemplify a negative (as in our present verse) or posiitive connotation: 


Matthew 23:28 recounts one of Jesus’ numerous indictments against the religious leaders of his day, as well as ours: “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full [mestos:G3324] of hypocrisy and iniquity.”


Romans 1:29 likewise affirms, “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full [mestos:G3324] of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,”


Both positive and negative usages appear in James, chapter 3; the latter first in verse 8, and the former in verse 17, “But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full [mestos:G3324] of deadly poison. ... {17} But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full [mestos:G3324] of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”


The positive qualities also appear in these next two verses:


4th Gospel 21:11, “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full [mestos:G3324] of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”


Romans 15:14, “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full [mestos:G3324] of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”


In the 4th Gospel 19:29-30 we also read what Christ did on the Cross, in which there appear to be two separate accounts of Him receiving “vinegar” (according to both the Matthew 27 and Mark 15 accounts) - one with “gall” which He did not drink, and the second time, “without gall,” which He did drink:


“Now there was set a vessel full [mestos:G3324] of vinegar [oxos:G3690]: and they filled a spunge with vinegar [oxos:G3690], and put [it] upon hyssop, and put [it] to his mouth. {29} When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, [oxos:G3690] he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

I’ll now read the Matthew 27:34 and 48 version: “They gave him vinegar [oxos:G3690] to drink mingled with gall [chole:G5521]: and when he had tasted [thereof], he would not drink. ... {48} And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled [it] with vinegar, [oxos:G3690] and put [it] on a reed, and gave him to drink.”


These two scenes of Christ  refusing the vinegar (with gall), and then drinking the vinegar (without gall) might possibly picture the atonement prior “...to the foundation…,” as well as the demonstration while on the Cross.  I have not worked on this, but it is very interesting, and I’m merely mentioning it, as it has to be researched further. By the way,  the term, “gall,” is only used one other time in connection with “iniquity” (or sin) as we read in Acts 8:23, with regard to Simon the sorcerer, who is being confronted by Peter, under divine inspiration:


“For I perceive that thou art in the gall [chole:G5521] of bitterness, and [in] the bond of iniquity.


Well, I seem to have gotten off track here, so let’s return to the next word, “of adultery” in the phrase “eyes full of adultery” in 2 Peter 2:14, 


Of Adultery [moichalis:G3428]


The Greek word rendered “of adultery” is found 5 other times, as some form of this word, as these next passages teach:


Matthew 12:39 (and the parallel verse in Matthew 16:4) states: “But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous [moichalis:G3428] generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:”


Mark 8:38 also maintains, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous [moichalis:G3428] and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”


In Romans 7:1-4, this word is rendered in verse 3 as “adulteress” twice; please note that this passage explains the spiritual condition of all the non-elect, necessitating that they pay for their own sins by death and destruction - as they are the very sacrifice for their own sins - as they do not possess the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on their behalf: 


“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? {2} For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. {3} So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress:[moichalis:G3428] but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, [moichalis:G3428] though she be married to another man. {4} Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”


James 4:4 put it very succinctly, in which we discover both the feminine noun (“adulteress”) which we have been examining, as well as the masculine noun, translated here as “adulterer”: “Ye adulterers [moichos:G3432] and adulteresses [moichalis:G3428], know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”


We also want to bear in mind that spiritual adultery is what national Israel committed, causing God to divorce Himself from His “corporate wife” through a “temporary” law that He instituted, in Deuteronomy 24:1, 


“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness [i.e., “adultery”] in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.”


The reason God did this was to avoid killing the entire nation by stoning - which is the penalty for adultery - as we read in Leviticus 20:10 (and the parallel verse in Deuteronomy 22:22); if that had taken place none of the elect Jews would have been saved (from that point forward), nor could the Messiah be born:


Leviticus 20:10, “And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man's wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”


In the 4th Gospel, in chapter 8:3-11, the Jews self-righteously brought this law to Jesus’ attention, but upon hearing His solemn words, departed in shame and guilt: 


“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, {4} They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. {5} Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? {6} This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not]. {7} So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. {8} And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. {9} And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. {10} When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? {11}  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”


I think we’ll stop here today, and continue our examination of 2 Peter 2:14 in our next study, Lord permitting.














  2 Peter 2 - Part 19

March 18, 2017


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


In our previous study we began looking at verse 14, and we considered the first phrase, “Having eyes full of adultery…” So, let’s pick up with the next phrase, “...and that cannot cease from sin…, which is comprised of three words: 


And [kai:G2532] That Cannot Cease [akatapaustos:G180] From Sin [hamartia:G266]


The term for “sin” is one that we have encountered previously in 2 Peter 1:9, which I won’t repeat, but I will read that verse to refresh our memories; in this passage it is translated as “sins”:


“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” [hamartia:G266]


In this phrase in 2 Peter 2:14, “...and that cannot cease from sin…”  we find one of the 30 characteristics of “false teachers” that this chapter lists, and reveals one aspect of the unsaved nature of all the non-elect: the inability to not sin. Let’s take a closer look at this word, “that cannot cease”:


That Cannot Cease [akatapaustos:G180]


This term, which is only found in this citation, is a compound word, made up of the “a-” (alpha:G1) negative and the main word “katapauo” (G2664) , which only appears in four citations, as “restrain,” “rest,” “give rest,” and “cease;” keep in mind that with the alpha negative in front of this word, these terms are to be understood as not restrain,” “not rest,” “not give rest,” and “not cease”:


I’ll read Acts 14:8-18 so you can see the context, in which this word surfaces in verse 18, as “restrained they”: “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: {9} The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, {10} Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. {11} And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. {12} And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. {13} Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. {14} [Which] when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard [of], they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, {15} And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: {16} Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. {17} Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. {18} And with these sayings scarce restrained they [katapauo:G2664] the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.”


Hebrews 4:1-10 is an exceedingly relevant passage following the serious admonitions found in Hebrews 3. It had application for national Israel, for the “church age,” during the Great Tribulation, and continues in our current “day of judgment;” you will notice that G2664 crops up in verses 4, 8 and 10: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest [katapausis:G2663], any of you should seem to come short of it. {2} For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]. {3} For we which have believed do enter into rest [katapausis:G2663], as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest [katapausis:G2663]: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. {4} For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest [katapauo:G2664] the seventh day from all his works. {5} And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest [katapausis:G2663]. {6} Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: {7} Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. {8} For if Jesus had given [katapauo:G2664] them rest, [katapauo:G2664] then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. {9} There remaineth therefore a rest [sabbatismos:G4520] to the people of God. {10} For he that is entered into his rest [katapausis:G2663], he also hath ceased [katapauo:G2664] from his own works, as God [did] from his.”


What is also noteworthy about this passage lies in the fact that God has also inserted a related word in verses 1, 3, 5, and 10, which is derived from “katapauo” (G2664)and is “katapausis” (G2663) and it too is translated as “rest.” Additionally, there is a third expression - also rendered as “a rest” (sabbatismos:G4520) in verse 9 - which is unrelated to these other two. It is only appears here, and its root word is going to be very familiar to many of you as “sabbath,” found for instance, in Matthew 28:1,


“In the end of the sabbath [sabbaton:G4521], as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week [sabbaton:G4521], came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” 


Because it was not God’s purpose to reveal the hidden truth of all that the “sabbath” entailed, He allowed the translators of the KJV to do a disservice with this verse. This is not to impugn these 54 men in any way, as they were an outstanding group of scholars bar none.  Nonetheless, they were men, and men are prone to error, unless God in His mercy and for His own purposes intervenes, highlighting the paramount truth that we need God to open our spiritual eyes to be able to understand even the tiniest bit of truth. In the case of Matthew 28:1, if my memory serves me right, God did not allow any of the other various translations (including the KJV) at that time in history to render this verse as it should be:


“In the end of the sabbaths [sabbaton:G4521], as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week sabbaths [sabbaton:G4521], came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” 


Beguiling [deleazo:G1185] Unstable [asteriktos:G793] Souls [psyche:G5590]


The next phrase in verse 14 is: “...beguiling unstable souls…” 


Beguiling [deleazo:G1185] 


The word, “beguiling” surfaces in two other places, one of which is a few verses down from where we are - in verse 18 - where it is rendered as “allure”:


“For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure [deleazo:G1185] through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”


The other one is is James 1:14, and is translated as “enticed”: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” [deleazo:G1185]


As I mentioned earlier regarding the inability to not sin, God is associating this word, “beguiling” (G1185), with “lust,” as we have discussed before in other studies, concerning the “natural” (i.e., “unsaved”) state of the non-elect, as we read in 1 John 2:15-17,


“Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. {17} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”


Sadly, this passage accurately describes the driving force that fuels our present sin-cursed world that is heading recklessly toward total annihilation. However, the elect child God is in a different kingdom, under different marching orders, and is focused altogether on spiritual priorities, even as we read this about Moses in Hebrews 11:24-27,


“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; {25} Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; {26} Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. {27} By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.


Unstable [asteriktos:G793] 


The term, “unstable” is another compound word that begins with the “a-” (alpha:G1) negative (as we discovered earlier) with the term, “that cannot cease” (akatapaustos:G180); the main word in H793 is: “sterizo” (G4741), which is translated in the following ways:  “stablish” (6x), “establish” (3x), “strengthen” (2x), and once as “fix” and “stedfastly set.” We actually ran across this word in 2 Peter 1:12, in which it is rendered as “be established”: 


“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established [sterizo:G4741] in the present truth.”


Thus this word, “unstable” conveys the negative connotation of  “not” being “established,” “not strengthened,” “ not fixed,” or not set,” which is why their souls are vulnerable to being deceived: “...beguiling unstable souls…”


Souls [psyche:G5590]


We considered the word, “souls” earlier in 2 Peter 2:8, so I won’t elaborate on that again, other than to quote verse 8, which refers to Lot, and again ties into the time of the Great Tribulation:


“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul [psyche:G5590] from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)”


That brings us to the next phrase in verse 14,


An Heart [kardia:G2588] They Have [echo:G2192] Exercised [gymnazo:G1128]


We have already considered the expression, “heart,” (kardia:G2588 - where we get our English word, “cardiac”) when we were discussing 2 Peter 1:19, which states: 


“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” [kardia:G2588]


Now contrast that with what we read in verse 14 again, with respect to these “false teachers”: 


Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart [kardia:G2588] they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:” 


They Have [echo:G2192] Exercised [gymnazo:G1128]


The Greek word, “gymnazo” (G1128) is where our English word, “gym” or “gymnasium” is derived from, and it surfaces in the following three passages (besides 2 Peter 2:14):


In 1 Timothy 4:6-8, the Apostle Paul is admonishing his young protege Timothy, under divine inspiration, revealing the superiority of pursuing godliness over physical fitness: “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. {7} But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise [gymnazo:G1128] thyself [rather] unto godliness. {8} For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”


Hebrews 5:5-14 is set against the backdrop of Melchisedec - Who is the Lord Jesus Christ - the High Priest: “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. {6} As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. {7} Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; {8} Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; {9} And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; {10} Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. {11} Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. {12} For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. {13} For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {14}But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses [aistheterion:G145] exercised [gymnazo:G1128] to discern both good and evil.”


There is one more citation that contains this word, “exercise,” but I would like to point out something else before we leave Hebrews 5:14, which is the term, “their senses” (aistheterion:G145), which is only found in this reference, making its spiritual meaning somewhat difficult to ascertain; however we are greatly helped by looking at its root or “parent” word, which is also presented in verse 45 of Luke 9 - which is a most important passage having to do with God hiding truth - and I might add truth that is plainly stated - reinforcing the reality that unless God chooses to grant an individual spiritual discernment, it is impossible to achieve. I’ll read verses 43-45 which follow the account of the healing of the boy with an unclean spirit, which the disciples were unable to cast out; the root word of G145 is “aisthanomai” (G143) , which is translated as “they perceived”:


“And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, {44} Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. {45} But they understood not [agnoeo:G50] this saying, and it was hid [parakalypto:G3871] from them, that they perceived [aisthanomai:G143] it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”


I’ve mentioned this before, but it really bears repeating. There are two other words in this passage that are synonymous with “perceive” not, and they are: “hid” and “they understood not;” the latter we looked at when we were working on verse 12 of this same chapter:


But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not [agnoeo:G50]; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;


 The third and last reference, containing the expression, “exercised,” is in Hebrews 12:11, which explains the wonderful by product of spiritual chastening which is: “...the peaceable fruit of righteousness…”   


“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised [gymnazo:G1128] thereby.”


With Covetous Practices [pleonexia:G4124] Cursed [katara:G2671] Children [teknon:G5043]


The last phrase in verse 14 contains three words, and we have already discussed the first one, “ ...with covetous practices…” in 2 Peter 2:3, where it is rendered as “covetousness”:


“And through covetousness [pleonexia:G4124] shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”


So, let’s move on to the last two terms, “cursed children”:


Cursed [katara:G2671]


This word, “cursed” shows up in three other references (besides here in 2 Peter 2:14):


Galatians 3:10 and 13 highlight the outcome of sin, which is the curse, and leads ultimately to death and annihilation, as well as the work of redemption that occured prior to the foundation of the world that the Lord Jesus Christ perfectly accomplished for each of His elect; notice that this word is utilized three times in these two verses: 


“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: [katara:G2671] for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. ... {13} Christ hath redeemed us from the curse [katara:G2671] of the law, being made a curse [katara:G2671] for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:”


Hebrews 6:7-9 makes this declaration, in which this word is found in verse 8, as “unto cursing”: “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:{8} But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing;[katara:G2671] whose end [is] to be burned. {9} But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.”


James 3:2-10 also translates this word as “cursing” in verse 10: “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body. {3} Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. {4} Behold also the ships, which though [they be] so great, and [are] driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. {5} Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! {6} And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. {7} For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: {8} But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. {9} Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. {10} Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. [katara:G2671] My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”


Children [teknon:G5043]


The last word that we want to consider in verse 14 today is “children,” which is a term that occurs 99 times in the following ways: “child” (77x), “son” (21x), and once as  “daughter.” Here are some examples of how God employs this word:


Luke 16:25 is part of the parable of the “rich man and the beggar Lazarus,” in which Abraham (typifying God the Father) speaks to the rich man: “But Abraham said, Son, [teknon:G5043] remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.”


In Romans 9:7-8, we find this expression 4 times, in which God is highlighting what a “true Jew” is: “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: [teknon:G5043] but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. {8} That is, They which are the children [teknon:G5043] of the flesh, these [are] not the children [teknon:G5043] of God: but the children [teknon:G5043] of the promise are counted for the seed.”


1 John 3:6-12 accentuates the difference between the elect child of God and the non-elect, using the prime illustration of Cain and Abel at the very beginning: “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. {7} Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. {8} He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. {9} Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.{10} In this the children [teknon:G5043] of God are manifest, and the children [teknon:G5043] of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. {11} For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. {12} Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.


This last sentence is compelling indeed: “And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” We know that whtever Abel did, He did so by God working in Him, “...to will and to do of his [God’s] pleasure,” as Philippians 2:13 underscores. Cain was evidently jealous of the fact that his brother, Abel, obtained favor with God (certainly not by any merit of his own). The sin of jealousy (against God in the first place) could not be expressed by “killing” God, so Cain did the next best thing (in his sin-tainted mind), which was to kill God’s representative, Abel...and this dichotomy from that point forward has always existed, and will continue so until God ushers in “the New Heavens and the New Earth,” at the end of our present “day of judgment.”


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, next Sunday we’ll pick up with verse 15, and the account of the wicked soothsayer, Balaam. 





  2 Peter 2 - Part 20

March 25, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


We have arrived at verse 15, which references Balaam in the Old Testament, follwing the examples of the fallen angels, those who perished in the Flood of Noah’s day, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is why I wanted to re-read most of this chapter again. Let’s begin by considering the first phrase, “Which have forsaken the right way…,” which is comprised of three terms:


Which Have Forsaken [kataleipo:G2641] The Right [euthys:G2117] Way [hodos:H3598]


Which Have Forsaken [kataleipo:G2641] 


The word, “which have forsaken” also appears in the subsequent passages:


In the warning found in Hebrews 4:1, it is rendered as “being left”: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [kataleipo:G2641] [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”


And Hebrews 11:27 translates it as “he forsook,” speaking of Moses, and the proper Biblical response which he demonstrated: “By faith he forsook [kataleipo:G2641] Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”


The Right [euthys:G2117] Way [hodos:G3598]


On the other hand, the expression “the right way” appears in a similar account in Acts 13:5-11, concerning Elymas or Barjesus, 


“And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [was] Barjesus [“son of Jesus”]: {7} Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. {8} But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) [methermeneuo:G3177] withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. {9} Then Saul, (who also [is called] Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, {10} And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right [euthys:H2117] ways [hodos:H3598] of the Lord? {11} And now, behold, the hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.”


Incidentally, the compound term, “by interpretation,” in verse 8 is significant, since its main word is “hermeneuo,” from which our English word, “hermeneutic” is derived. The Bible’s hermeneutic found in 1 Corinthians 2:11-13 and developed in a number of  key passages, is vastly misunderstood and willfully ignored, being favored by the erroneous notion of the “grammatical - historical” method which is consistently taught in seminary, and really serves as a huge impediment to truth, as the Lord underscored to the religious leaders of His day and throughout history in Luke 11:52,


“Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key [kleis:G2807 - from (kleio:G2808 - rendered as “shut” - see Daniel 12:4 and 9)] of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”


Let’s take a moment to review some of these crucial passages, starting with 1 Corinthians 2:11-13, since they are the only safeguard (as God the Holy Spirit works through His Word) against the danger of falling into and remaining in error, as we shall see a later on in our study with respect to deception: 


“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. {13} Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. {14} But the natural [i.e., “unsaved”] 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.”


Nehemiah 8:8 also affirms this same methodology: “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.”


In the 4th Gospel (or Lazarus) 5:39 we read this command: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me


This is further amplified in Luke 24:27, 30-32, and 44-45, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. ... {30} And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them. {31} And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. {32} And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? ... {44} And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. {45} Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”


There is an exceedingly important principle that God emphasizes over and over again in the Bible, namely that God hides truth, and only reveals it to His elect, as Jesus, time and time again, would state in the familiar expression, “And he said unto them, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:9)


Proverbs 25:2 encapsulates this truth as well: “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: [dabar:H1697] but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.” [dabar:H1697]


The point of Proverbs 25:2 finds its greatest expression in Isaiah 6:9-10, which forms the basis for the powerful declaration in Mark 4:10-13; without a doubt, this is one of the most relevant passages in the entire Bible concerning how God crafted the Bible, and how His people are to understand its true spiritual significance, as God opens their spiritual eyes and ears, according to His timetable for revealing truth progressively:


“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. {11} And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables: {12} That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them. {13} And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?


This is also why the command in Acts 17:11 is so vital for the child of God to constantly put into practice:


“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”


I would be remiss not to mention that such an endeavor involves a great deal of prayer for God to open our eyes, and much study, as Psalm 119:18 and 2 Timothy 2:15 respectively highlight:


“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”


Study [spoudazo:G4704] (“Be diligent”) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing [orthotomeo:G3718 - or “cut straight” - i.e., “rightly interpret”] the word of truth.”


That takes us right back to the subject of faithful Biblical interpretation, which initiated this little detour, and is in stark contrast to our next Greek word, which is comprised of three English words:

  

And Are Gone Astray [planao:G4105 - similar in scope to “which have forsaken” (kataleipo:G2641)]


This word surfaces 39 times in the New Testament, and the following are some of the ways that this term is rendered: “deceive” (24x), “err” (6x), “go astray” (5x), “seduce” (2x), and once as  “wander”  and “be out of the way.”  Here are some citations to consider:


Matthew 24 is a chapter that includes the greatest number of references of this particular word, and they are found in verses 4-5, 11, and 24: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive [planao:G4105] you. {5} For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive [planao:G4105] many. ... {11} And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive [planao:G4105] many. ... {24} For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive [planao:G4105] the very elect.”


Please keep in mind that world-wide deception was the chief hallmark of the 23-year Great Tribulation, as the verses I just quoted maintain.


Galatians 6:7 also warns: Be [planao:G4105] not deceived; [planao:G4105] God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”


And 2 Timothy 3:13 offers this grave reminder which shows the “backwards” pattern of those who resist the truth, and increasingly distance themselves from it, in such a way as to be unable to distinguish it from the lie: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, [planao:G4105] and being deceived.” [planao:G4105]


In Hebrews 3:10, this term is rendered as “they do err”: “Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do [planao:G4105] alway err [planao:G4105] in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways.”


Lastly, in 1 John 2:26, it is translated as “them that seduce”: “These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce [planao:G4105] you.”


On the contrary, please note the encouragement in verses 14-17 of 2 Timothy 3, which relate to God’s elect:


“But continue [meno:G3306] thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; {15} And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Walking By Sight As Opposed To Walking By Faith


The main problem that those who “go backwards” to former doctrines, or to the churches or to the world is because they walk by sight - not by faith as the Bible commands in 2 Corinthians 5:7,


“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”


Romans 9:32-33 likewise affirms, speaking of corporate Israel, “Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; {33} As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”


1 Peter 2:7-8 makes this declaration: “Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, {8} And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”


The identical word for “continue” that we saw in 2 Timothy 3:14, is found in the 4th Gospel (Lazarus) 8:31 as well:


“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [meno:G3306] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;”


Following [exakoloutheo:H1811] The Way [hodos:H3598] Of Balaam [Balaam:G903] [The Son] Of Bosor [Bosor:G1007]


The next word, “following,” is one that we have encountered in our study of 2 Peter previously, as these next passages emphasize, denoting that two distinct pathways are in view - one for the elect, and the other for the non-elect;  the word, “the way,” is identical to the previous one we encountered earlier:


The “narrow way” is in view in 2 Peter 1:16, which declares: “For we have [exakoloutheo:G1811] not followed [exakoloutheo:G1811] cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”


By contrast, 2 Peter 2:2 reveals the “broad way”: “And many shall follow [exakoloutheo:G1811] their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”


Of Balaam [Balaam:G903] [The Son] Of Bosor [Bosor:G1007]


Let’s now consider “the broad way” that Balaam exemplifies, as a “false teacher,” although God utilized him to pen some of the most beautiful language in the Bible!


Of Balaam [Balaam:G903]


Balaam only surfaces again in the New Testament in these next citations:


Jude 1:11 issues this solemn warning in similar fashion: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam [Balaam:G903] for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”


And Revelation 2:14 adds, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, [Balaam:G903] who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”


A Closer Look At Balaam:


Let’s take a closer look at this phrase, “...ran greedily after the error... for reward…” to see if we can discover some more parabolic information regarding this wicked soothsayer, and why God is comparing him to these “false teachers” and “false prophets.”


Ran Greedily After [ekcheo:G1632] The Error [plane:G4106] ... For Reward [misthos:G3408]


This phrase is comprised of three terms that do not appear together, except in this citation. However, we do find G1632 and G3408 in one interesting scripture - in Acts 1:18 - regarding Judas, in which the word, “...ran greedily after…” is translated as “gushed out,” referring to his bowels, while the other term, “reward” is rendered the same: 


G1632 is a word that can refer, among other things to Christ’s shedding His blood (i.e., giving up His life), believers’ blood being shed, as well as God pouring out His wrath:


“Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward [misthos:G3408] of iniquity [adikia:G93]; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” [ekcheo:G1632] 


You might recall this verse as we examined it in 2 Peter - Part 17 because of the association of the terms, “reward” and “of iniquity,” in the first part of 2 Peter 2:13, 


“And shall receive the reward [misthos:G3408] of unrighteousness [adikia:G93], [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;


The same two Greek words also appear here in 2 Peter 2:15 as “the wages” and “of unrighteousness”: “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages [misthos:G3408] of unrighteousness;” [adikia:G93]


The Error [plane:G4106]


The next word that we want to examine in Jude 1:11 is “the error;” actually, this term is related to the word, “...and are gone astray [planao:G4105]…” in 2 Peter 2:15, in that both of them stem from the same root or parent word “planos” (G4108). The subsequent citations contain this word, which appears in 9 other places, primarily as “error”: 


Ephesians 4:14 expressly warns of against “false teachers”: “That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” [plane:G4106]


1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 spells out how God’s elect are to present the Word of God to others; this word is translated as “deceit” in verse 3. Please notice how diametricaqlly opposite this is from the sinful characteristics of  “false teachers” and “false prophets”:  


For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: {2} But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. {3} For our exhortation [was] not of deceit, [plane:G4106] nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: {4} But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. {5} For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God [is] witness: {6} Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor [yet] of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. {7} But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: {8} So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. {9} For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. {10} Ye [are] witnesses, and God [also], how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: {11} As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his children, {12}  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. {13} For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”


2 Thessalonians 2:11 emphatically states how God blinded those within the end-time institutional churches and denominations with an unparalleled delusion, as He handed over the reins of God’s former external representation to Satan, as He began to judge His own house (1 Peter 4:17) on May 21, 1988: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, [plane:G4106] that they should believe a lie:”


We will also see this expression again a little further down in this chapter in verse 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.” [plane:G4106]


It also will surface again in 2 Peter 3:17, if God allows us to get there: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error [plane:G4106] of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”


1 John 4:6 makes this very important distinction regarding God’s elect who proclaim the Truth as opposed to those “false teachers” who do not: “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.” [plane:G4106]


In light of this I want to mention that none of us should trust any teacher - myself included - I can make mistakes, but the One we are to trust implicitly is God’s Word alone. 


For Reward [misthos:G3408]


The third word in Jude 1:11 is “for reward,” however I commented on this earlier in today’s study, so let’s proceed to the second passage in the New Testament (besides Jude 1:11) that makes reference to Balaam, which is Revelation 2:14, one of the many scriptures that is directed to the churches and denominations during the church age in Revelation 2 and 3, giving them warning that if they did not repent, God would take away their candlestick (typifying the “light of the Gospel”) which He did as of May 21, 1988, 


“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, [Balaam:G903] who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”


The Doctrine [didache:G1322] Of Balaam [Balaam:G903] 


We read about the “doctrine” of Balaam only in this verse. Here are a few other examples of its usage: 


4th Gospel 7:16-17 declares, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine [didache:G1322] is not mine, but his that sent me. {17} If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, [didache:G1322] whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.”


And 2 John 1:9 maintains, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth [meno:G3306]  not in the doctrine [didache:G1322] of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth [meno:G3306] in the doctrine [didache:G1322] of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”


Three Statements Regarding Balaam’s Doctrine


The “doctrine of Balaam” in Revelation 2:14 is divided into three sinful characteristics: 


  1. “...who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel…”
  2. “...to eat things sacrificed unto idols…”
  3. “...and to commit fornication…”


However, we won’t have time to develop this properly today, so we’ll pick this up in our Bible study next Sunday, Lord willing.


 



 2 Peter 2 - Part 21

April 1, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


In our last study we began looking at Jude 1:11 - one of two New Testament verses (besides 2 Peter 2:15) - that reference Balaam. The other passage is Revelation 2:14, which we want to consider today, and then Lord willing, proceed with the rest of 2 Peter 2:15-16 which provide further information about Balaam. After which we will consider the numerous statements in the Old Testament that speak about this wicked soothsayer, as 2 Peter 2:15 directs us back to the Old Testament to investigate this “false prophet/teacher,” in order to understand why God is placing  a great deal of emphasis on him, as 1 Corinthians 10:11 reminds us:


“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”


Revelation 2:14 declares: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine [didache:G1322] of Balaam [Balaam:G903], who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” 


Three Statements Regarding “The Doctrine” [didache:G1322] “Of Balaam” [Balaam:G903]


As I mentioned previously, the two Greek words, “doctrine of Balaam” found in Revelation 2:14, constitute three sinful characteristics, so we want to carefully examine each these today: 


  1. “...who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel…”
  2. “...to eat things sacrificed unto idols…”
  3. “...and to commit fornication…”


Who [hos:G3739] Taught [didasko:G1321] Balac [Balak:G904] To Cast [ballo:G906] A Stumblingblock [skandalon:G4625] Before [enopion:G1799] The Children [huios:G5207] Of Israel [Israel:G2474]


Who [hos:G3739] Taught [didasko:G1321] Balac [Balak:G904] 


One does not read where Balaam actually sat down to teach Balak either in the Old or New Testament, so this is a commentary that God has supplied for His people to “search out.” We do find a parallel in Titus 1:11, in which this same term, “teaching” appears, as well “for filthy lucre’s sake” - which would seem to apply to Balaam (at least on the surface) as we read in Titus 1:10-16, 

 

“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: {11} Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. {12} One of themselves, [even] a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians [are] alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. {13} This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; {14} Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. {15} Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. {16} They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”


However, once again, we don’t find any evidence (as far as I can tell) of him receiving any money from Balak, since God did not allow him to curse Israel (as Balak had wished), but rather to bless them, as Numbers 24:10-13 maintain:


“And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed [them] these three times. {11} Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour. {12} And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, {13} If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do [either] good or bad of mine own mind; [but] what the LORD saith, that will I speak?”


We also want to remember that Balaam “...loved the wages of unrighteousness...” as we discussed previously, which does not involve financial remuneration, but instead, this “reward” or “wages” is spiritually indicative of death and annihilation.


Balac [Balak:G904]


The reference to Balac is only found here, so I would like to hold off commenting on him until we get to the Old Testament passages, in which we learn more about his relationship with Balaam. So, let’s proceed with the next phrase in Revelation 2:14,


 To Cast [ballo:G906] A Stumblingblock [skandalon:G4625] 


These two terms only surface in this verse, so we will have to consider them separately. I’ll begin with the expression “a stumblingblock” first, since I brought up this subject last Sunday, as the Word of God has always been a major impediment to many (even those who might profess to be saved, and yet, sadly, are not) - whether during the “time and season” of national Israel or the “church age,” the Great Tribulation, or our present day of judgment - as Romans 9:30-33 reminds us, underscoring the necessity of “walking by faith,” and not “by sight”:


“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, [or “nations”] which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. {31} But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.{32}Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; {33} As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence [skandalon:G4625]: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”


Here are some other illustrations of how God employs this word, “skandalon” (G4625):


As in Romans 9, Romans 11:5-11 sets up the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles (or “nations”) as far as salvation is concerned, when that “time and season” was still in effect:  “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.{6} And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. {7} What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {8} (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. {9} And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, [(eis:G1519)/(skandalon:G4625)] and a recompence unto them: {10} Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. {11} I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”


Verses 9-10 are a quotation taken from Psalm 69:22-23, so we have another “word bridge” between the Old and New Testaments, which as I’ve mentioned before, is very helpful in amplifying the spiritual significance which God has hidden in the Hebrew and Greek words for “snare” and “trap” (since they are the only ones mentioned in Psalm 69:22-23):


“Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap. {23} Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.”


Notice the additional terms in Romans 11:9 - “a snare” [(eis:G1519)/(pagis:G3803)], “a trap” [(eis:G1519)/(thera:G2339)], and “a recompence” [(eis:G1519)/(antapodoma:G468] which are synonymous with the word, “stumblingblock” (although they correspond to different Strong’s numbers).


We also read in Romans 14:13, in which this term is rendered as, “an occasion to fall”: “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall [skandalon:G4625] in [his] brother's way.”


Romans 16:17 renders this word as, “offences”: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences [skandalon:G4625] contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”


And 1 Corinthians 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, [(men:G3303)/(skandalon:G4625)] and unto the Greeks foolishness;”


Before [enopion:G1799] The Children [huios:G5207] Of Israel [Israel:G2474]


The last phrase in Revelation 2:14 includes three terms which only appear in one other citation - in Acts 9:10-16; please note the positive setting of this verse - as opposed to the negative one surrounding Revelation 2:14,


“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord. {11} And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, {12} And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. {13} Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: {14} And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. {15} But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before [enopion:G1799]  the Gentiles, and kings, and the children [huios:G5207] of Israel [Israel:G2474]: {16} For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.”


As we think about Paul’s background, as he declared, under divine inspiration, in Galatians 1:13-16, in light of his subsequent spiritual transformation as we just read in Acts 9, we are confronted again with the glorious Gospel of salvation during that wonderful “season” of the day of salvation, which lasted 13,023 years, and today - Resurrection Sunday - is an excellent day to remember the demonstration or tableau of the resurrection that took place after the Atonement or payment for sin that took place prior to “...the foundation of the world”:


“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: {14} And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. {15} But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's [meter:G3384] womb [koilia:G2836], and called [me] by his grace, {16} To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:”


Incidentally, these two words “mother” and “womb” appear in 6 citations, and one of those is the 4th Gospel (or Lazarus) 3:4, which speaks of salvation, in the context of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, and notice the immediate context in verse 5-13,


“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's [meter:G3384] womb [koilia:G2836], and be born? {5} Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. {6} That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. {7} Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. {8} The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. {9} Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? {10} Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? {11} Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. {12}  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things? {13} And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.”


As the elect child of God thinks back to the circumstances of his own salvation - like Paul stated - one is profoundly amazed, grateful and joyful at this awesome “miracle of all miracles,” that God accomplished victoriously, before our present universe was even spoken into existence. I know I’m getting sidetracked somewhat, but let me just mention one thing about Acts 9:15 that we want to keep in the forefront of our minds, as it relates to Christ being the “...Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Please consider the import of Galatians 1:15 - in which we discover the two terms, “mother” and “womb.” It is highly significant that the “separation” of Paul from his mother’s womb in not speaking merely about his physical birth (which of course God orchestrated as well), but reveals an even more astounding truth, which I would

 2 Peter 2 - Part 20

March 25, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


We have arrived at verse 15, which references Balaam in the Old Testament, follwing the examples of the fallen angels, those who perished in the Flood of Noah’s day, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is why I wanted to re-read most of this chapter again. Let’s begin by considering the first phrase, “Which have forsaken the right way…,” which is comprised of three terms:


Which Have Forsaken [kataleipo:G2641] The Right [euthys:G2117] Way [hodos:H3598]


Which Have Forsaken [kataleipo:G2641] 


The word, “which have forsaken” also appears in the subsequent passages:


In the warning found in Hebrews 4:1, it is rendered as “being left”: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [kataleipo:G2641] [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”


And Hebrews 11:27 translates it as “he forsook,” speaking of Moses, and the proper Biblical response which he demonstrated: “By faith he forsook [kataleipo:G2641] Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”


The Right [euthys:G2117] Way [hodos:G3598]


On the other hand, the expression “the right way” appears in a similar account in Acts 13:5-11, concerning Elymas or Barjesus, 


“And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [was] Barjesus [“son of Jesus”]: {7} Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. {8} But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) [methermeneuo:G3177] withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. {9} Then Saul, (who also [is called] Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, {10} And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right [euthys:H2117] ways [hodos:H3598] of the Lord? {11} And now, behold, the hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.”


Incidentally, the compound term, “by interpretation,” in verse 8 is significant, since its main word is “hermeneuo,” from which our English word, “hermeneutic” is derived. The Bible’s hermeneutic found in 1 Corinthians 2:11-13 and developed in a number of  key passages, is vastly misunderstood and willfully ignored, being favored by the erroneous notion of the “grammatical - historical” method which is consistently taught in seminary, and really serves as a huge impediment to truth, as the Lord underscored to the religious leaders of His day and throughout history in Luke 11:52,


“Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key [kleis:G2807 - from (kleio:G2808 - rendered as “shut” - see Daniel 12:4 and 9)] of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”


Let’s take a moment to review some of these crucial passages, starting with 1 Corinthians 2:11-13, since they are the only safeguard (as God the Holy Spirit works through His Word) against the danger of falling into and remaining in error, as we shall see a later on in our study with respect to deception: 


“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. {13} Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. {14} But the natural [i.e., “unsaved”] 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.”


Nehemiah 8:8 also affirms this same methodology: “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.”


In the 4th Gospel (or Lazarus) 5:39 we read this command: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me


This is further amplified in Luke 24:27, 30-32, and 44-45, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. ... {30} And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them. {31} And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. {32} And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? ... {44} And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. {45} Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”


There is an exceedingly important principle that God emphasizes over and over again in the Bible, namely that God hides truth, and only reveals it to His elect, as Jesus, time and time again, would state in the familiar expression, “And he said unto them, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:9)


Proverbs 25:2 encapsulates this truth as well: “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: [dabar:H1697] but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.” [dabar:H1697]


The point of Proverbs 25:2 finds its greatest expression in Isaiah 6:9-10, which forms the basis for the powerful declaration in Mark 4:10-13; without a doubt, this is one of the most relevant passages in the entire Bible concerning how God crafted the Bible, and how His people are to understand its true spiritual significance, as God opens their spiritual eyes and ears, according to His timetable for revealing truth progressively:


“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. {11} And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables: {12} That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them. {13} And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?


This is also why the command in Acts 17:11 is so vital for the child of God to constantly put into practice:


“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”


I would be remiss not to mention that such an endeavor involves a great deal of prayer for God to open our eyes, and much study, as Psalm 119:18 and 2 Timothy 2:15 respectively highlight:


“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”


Study [spoudazo:G4704] (“Be diligent”) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing [orthotomeo:G3718 - or “cut straight” - i.e., “rightly interpret”] the word of truth.”


That takes us right back to the subject of faithful Biblical interpretation, which initiated this little detour, and is in stark contrast to our next Greek word, which is comprised of three English words:

  

And Are Gone Astray [planao:G4105 - similar in scope to “which have forsaken” (kataleipo:G2641)]


This word surfaces 39 times in the New Testament, and the following are some of the ways that this term is rendered: “deceive” (24x), “err” (6x), “go astray” (5x), “seduce” (2x), and once as  “wander”  and “be out of the way.”  Here are some citations to consider:


Matthew 24 is a chapter that includes the greatest number of references of this particular word, and they are found in verses 4-5, 11, and 24: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive [planao:G4105] you. {5} For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive [planao:G4105] many. ... {11} And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive [planao:G4105] many. ... {24} For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive [planao:G4105] the very elect.”


Please keep in mind that world-wide deception was the chief hallmark of the 23-year Great Tribulation, as the verses I just quoted maintain.


Galatians 6:7 also warns: Be [planao:G4105] not deceived; [planao:G4105] God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”


And 2 Timothy 3:13 offers this grave reminder which shows the “backwards” pattern of those who resist the truth, and increasingly distance themselves from it, in such a way as to be unable to distinguish it from the lie: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, [planao:G4105] and being deceived.” [planao:G4105]


In Hebrews 3:10, this term is rendered as “they do err”: “Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do [planao:G4105] alway err [planao:G4105] in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways.”


Lastly, in 1 John 2:26, it is translated as “them that seduce”: “These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce [planao:G4105] you.”


On the contrary, please note the encouragement in verses 14-17 of 2 Timothy 3, which relate to God’s elect:


“But continue [meno:G3306] thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; {15} And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Walking By Sight As Opposed To Walking By Faith


The main problem that those who “go backwards” to former doctrines, or to the churches or to the world is because they walk by sight - not by faith as the Bible commands in 2 Corinthians 5:7,


“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”


Romans 9:32-33 likewise affirms, speaking of corporate Israel, “Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; {33} As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”


1 Peter 2:7-8 makes this declaration: “Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, {8} And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”


The identical word for “continue” that we saw in 2 Timothy 3:14, is found in the 4th Gospel (Lazarus) 8:31 as well:


“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [meno:G3306] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;”


Following [exakoloutheo:H1811] The Way [hodos:H3598] Of Balaam [Balaam:G903] [The Son] Of Bosor [Bosor:G1007]


The next word, “following,” is one that we have encountered in our study of 2 Peter previously, as these next passages emphasize, denoting that two distinct pathways are in view - one for the elect, and the other for the non-elect;  the word, “the way,” is identical to the previous one we encountered earlier:


The “narrow way” is in view in 2 Peter 1:16, which declares: “For we have [exakoloutheo:G1811] not followed [exakoloutheo:G1811] cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”


By contrast, 2 Peter 2:2 reveals the “broad way”: “And many shall follow [exakoloutheo:G1811] their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”


Of Balaam [Balaam:G903] [The Son] Of Bosor [Bosor:G1007]


Let’s now consider “the broad way” that Balaam exemplifies, as a “false teacher,” although God utilized him to pen some of the most beautiful language in the Bible!


Of Balaam [Balaam:G903]


Balaam only surfaces again in the New Testament in these next citations:


Jude 1:11 issues this solemn warning in similar fashion: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam [Balaam:G903] for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”


And Revelation 2:14 adds, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, [Balaam:G903] who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”


A Closer Look At Balaam:


Let’s take a closer look at this phrase, “...ran greedily after the error... for reward…” to see if we can discover some more parabolic information regarding this wicked soothsayer, and why God is comparing him to these “false teachers” and “false prophets.”


Ran Greedily After [ekcheo:G1632] The Error [plane:G4106] ... For Reward [misthos:G3408]


This phrase is comprised of three terms that do not appear together, except in this citation. However, we do find G1632 and G3408 in one interesting scripture - in Acts 1:18 - regarding Judas, in which the word, “...ran greedily after…” is translated as “gushed out,” referring to his bowels, while the other term, “reward” is rendered the same: 


G1632 is a word that can refer, among other things to Christ’s shedding His blood (i.e., giving up His life), believers’ blood being shed, as well as God pouring out His wrath:


“Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward [misthos:G3408] of iniquity [adikia:G93]; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” [ekcheo:G1632] 


You might recall this verse as we examined it in 2 Peter - Part 17 because of the association of the terms, “reward” and “of iniquity,” in the first part of 2 Peter 2:13, 


“And shall receive the reward [misthos:G3408] of unrighteousness [adikia:G93], [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;


The same two Greek words also appear here in 2 Peter 2:15 as “the wages” and “of unrighteousness”: “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages [misthos:G3408] of unrighteousness;” [adikia:G93]


The Error [plane:G4106]


The next word that we want to examine in Jude 1:11 is “the error;” actually, this term is related to the word, “...and are gone astray [planao:G4105]…” in 2 Peter 2:15, in that both of them stem from the same root or parent word “planos” (G4108). The subsequent citations contain this word, which appears in 9 other places, primarily as “error”: 


Ephesians 4:14 expressly warns of against “false teachers”: “That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” [plane:G4106]


1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 spells out how God’s elect are to present the Word of God to others; this word is translated as “deceit” in verse 3. Please notice how diametricaqlly opposite this is from the sinful characteristics of  “false teachers” and “false prophets”:  


For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: {2} But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. {3} For our exhortation [was] not of deceit, [plane:G4106] nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: {4} But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. {5} For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God [is] witness: {6} Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor [yet] of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. {7} But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: {8} So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. {9} For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. {10} Ye [are] witnesses, and God [also], how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: {11} As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his children, {12}  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. {13} For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”


2 Thessalonians 2:11 emphatically states how God blinded those within the end-time institutional churches and denominations with an unparalleled delusion, as He handed over the reins of God’s former external representation to Satan, as He began to judge His own house (1 Peter 4:17) on May 21, 1988: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, [plane:G4106] that they should believe a lie:”


We will also see this expression again a little further down in this chapter in verse 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.” [plane:G4106]


It also will surface again in 2 Peter 3:17, if God allows us to get there: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error [plane:G4106] of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”


1 John 4:6 makes this very important distinction regarding God’s elect who proclaim the Truth as opposed to those “false teachers” who do not: “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.” [plane:G4106]


In light of this I want to mention that none of us should trust any teacher - myself included - I can make mistakes, but the One we are to trust implicitly is God’s Word alone. 


For Reward [misthos:G3408]


The third word in Jude 1:11 is “for reward,” however I commented on this earlier in today’s study, so let’s proceed to the second passage in the New Testament (besides Jude 1:11) that makes reference to Balaam, which is Revelation 2:14, one of the many scriptures that is directed to the churches and denominations during the church age in Revelation 2 and 3, giving them warning that if they did not repent, God would take away their candlestick (typifying the “light of the Gospel”) which He did as of May 21, 1988, 


“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, [Balaam:G903] who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”


The Doctrine [didache:G1322] Of Balaam [Balaam:G903] 


We read about the “doctrine” of Balaam only in this verse. Here are a few other examples of its usage: 


4th Gospel 7:16-17 declares, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine [didache:G1322] is not mine, but his that sent me. {17} If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, [didache:G1322] whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.”


And 2 John 1:9 maintains, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth [meno:G3306]  not in the doctrine [didache:G1322] of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth [meno:G3306] in the doctrine [didache:G1322] of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”


Three Statements Regarding Balaam’s Doctrine


The “doctrine of Balaam” in Revelation 2:14 is divided into three sinful characteristics: 


  1. “...who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel…”
  2. “...to eat things sacrificed unto idols…”
  3. “...and to commit fornication…”


However, we won’t have time to develop this properly today, so we’ll pick this up in our Bible study next Sunday, Lord willing.










 2 Peter 2 - Part 21

April 1, 2018


“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: {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. {11} Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. {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; {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; {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: {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; {16} But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. {17} These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”


In our last study we began looking at Jude 1:11 - one of two New Testament verses (besides 2 Peter 2:15) - that reference Balaam. The other passage is Revelation 2:14, which we want to consider today, and then Lord willing, proceed with the rest of 2 Peter 2:15-16 which provide further information about Balaam. After which we will consider the numerous statements in the Old Testament that speak about this wicked soothsayer, as 2 Peter 2:15 directs us back to the Old Testament to investigate this “false prophet/teacher,” in order to understand why God is placing  a great deal of emphasis on him, as 1 Corinthians 10:11 reminds us:


“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”


Revelation 2:14 declares: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine [didache:G1322] of Balaam [Balaam:G903], who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” 


Three Statements Regarding “The Doctrine” [didache:G1322] “Of Balaam” [Balaam:G903]


As I mentioned previously, the two Greek words, “doctrine of Balaam” found in Revelation 2:14, constitute three sinful characteristics, so we want to carefully examine each these today: 


  1. “...who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel…”
  2. “...to eat things sacrificed unto idols…”
  3. “...and to commit fornication…”


Who [hos:G3739] Taught [didasko:G1321] Balac [Balak:G904] To Cast [ballo:G906] A Stumblingblock [skandalon:G4625] Before [enopion:G1799] The Children [huios:G5207] Of Israel [Israel:G2474]


Who [hos:G3739] Taught [didasko:G1321] Balac [Balak:G904] 


One does not read where Balaam actually sat down to teach Balak either in the Old or New Testament, so this is a commentary that God has supplied for His people to “search out.” We do find a parallel in Titus 1:11, in which this same term, “teaching” appears, as well “for filthy lucre’s sake” - which would seem to apply to Balaam (at least on the surface) as we read in Titus 1:10-16, 

 

“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: {11} Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. {12} One of themselves, [even] a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians [are] alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. {13} This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; {14} Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. {15} Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. {16} They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”


However, once again, we don’t find any evidence (as far as I can tell) of him receiving any money from Balak, since God did not allow him to curse Israel (as Balak had wished), but rather to bless them, as Numbers 24:10-13 maintain:


“And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed [them] these three times. {11} Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour. {12} And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, {13} If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do [either] good or bad of mine own mind; [but] what the LORD saith, that will I speak?”


We also want to remember that Balaam “...loved the wages of unrighteousness...” as we discussed previously, which does not involve financial remuneration, but instead, this “reward” or “wages” is spiritually indicative of death and annihilation.


Balac [Balak:G904]


The reference to Balac is only found here, so I would like to hold off commenting on him until we get to the Old Testament passages, in which we learn more about his relationship with Balaam. So, let’s proceed with the next phrase in Revelation 2:14,


 To Cast [ballo:G906] A Stumblingblock [skandalon:G4625] 


These two terms only surface in this verse, so we will have to consider them separately. I’ll begin with the expression “a stumblingblock” first, since I brought up this subject last Sunday, as the Word of God has always been a major impediment to many (even those who might profess to be saved, and yet, sadly, are not) - whether during the “time and season” of national Israel or the “church age,” the Great Tribulation, or our present day of judgment - as Romans 9:30-33 reminds us, underscoring the necessity of “walking by faith,” and not “by sight”:


“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, [or “nations”] which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. {31} But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.{32}Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; {33} As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence [skandalon:G4625]: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”


Here are some other illustrations of how God employs this word, “skandalon” (G4625):


As in Romans 9, Romans 11:5-11 sets up the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles (or “nations”) as far as salvation is concerned, when that “time and season” was still in effect:  “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.{6} And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. {7} What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {8} (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. {9} And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, [(eis:G1519)/(skandalon:G4625)] and a recompence unto them: {10} Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. {11} I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”


Verses 9-10 are a quotation taken from Psalm 69:22-23, so we have another “word bridge” between the Old and New Testaments, which as I’ve mentioned before, is very helpful in amplifying the spiritual significance which God has hidden in the Hebrew and Greek words for “snare” and “trap” (since they are the only ones mentioned in Psalm 69:22-23):


“Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap. {23} Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.”


Notice the additional terms in Romans 11:9 - “a snare” [(eis:G1519)/(pagis:G3803)], “a trap” [(eis:G1519)/(thera:G2339)], and “a recompence” [(eis:G1519)/(antapodoma:G468] which are synonymous with the word, “stumblingblock” (although they correspond to different Strong’s numbers).


We also read in Romans 14:13, in which this term is rendered as, “an occasion to fall”: “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall [skandalon:G4625] in [his] brother's way.”


Romans 16:17 renders this word as, “offences”: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences [skandalon:G4625] contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”


And 1 Corinthians 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, [(men:G3303)/(skandalon:G4625)] and unto the Greeks foolishness;”


Before [enopion:G1799] The Children [huios:G5207] Of Israel [Israel:G2474]


The last phrase in Revelation 2:14 includes three terms which only appear in one other citation - in Acts 9:10-16; please note the positive setting of this verse - as opposed to the negative one surrounding Revelation 2:14,


“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord. {11} And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, {12} And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. {13} Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: {14} And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. {15} But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before [enopion:G1799]  the Gentiles, and kings, and the children [huios:G5207] of Israel [Israel:G2474]: {16} For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.”


As we think about Paul’s background, as he declared, under divine inspiration, in Galatians 1:13-16, in light of his subsequent spiritual transformation as we just read in Acts 9, we are confronted again with the glorious Gospel of salvation during that wonderful “season” of the day of salvation, which lasted 13,023 years, and today - Resurrection Sunday - is an excellent day to remember the demonstration or tableau of the resurrection that took place after the Atonement or payment for sin that took place prior to “...the foundation of the world”:


“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: {14} And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. {15} But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's [meter:G3384] womb [koilia:G2836], and called [me] by his grace, {16} To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:”


Incidentally, these two words “mother” and “womb” appear in 6 citations, and one of those is the 4th Gospel (or Lazarus) 3:4, which speaks of salvation, in the context of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, and notice the immediate context in verse 5-13,


“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's [meter:G3384] womb [koilia:G2836], and be born? {5} Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. {6} That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. {7} Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. {8} The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. {9} Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? {10} Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? {11} Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. {12}  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things? {13} And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.”


As the elect child of God thinks back to the circumstances of his own salvation - like Paul stated - one is profoundly amazed, grateful and joyful at this awesome “miracle of all miracles,” that God accomplished victoriously, before our present universe was even spoken into existence. I know I’m getting sidetracked somewhat, but let me just mention one thing about Acts 9:15 that we want to keep in the forefront of our minds, as it relates to Christ being the “...Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Please consider the import of Galatians 1:15 - in which we discover the two terms, “mother” and “womb.” It is highly significant that the “separation” of Paul from his mother’s womb in not speaking merely about his physical birth (which of course God orchestrated as well), but reveals an even more astounding truth, which I would


“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: {14} In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins: {15} Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [prototokos:G4416] of every creature: {16} For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: {17} And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. {18} And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn [prototokos:G4416] from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.”


 The word, “womb” (koilia:G2836) in Galatians 1:15 is identical with the expression, “belly” (koilia:G2836) in the phrase the whale’s [ketos:G2785] belly [koilia:G2836] as one finds in Matthew 12:40,


“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's [ketos:G2785] belly [koilia:G2836]; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” 


Matthew 12:40 is quoting Jonah 1:17 and also corresponds to the phrase in Jonah 2:1-2, “out of the belly of hell”: 


“Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly [me`ah:H4578] of the fish three days and three nights....{2:1}Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly [me`ah:H4578], {2} And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly [beten:H990 - translated almost an equal number of times as “womb”] of hell [she’owl:G7585 - or the “grave”] cried I, [and] thou heardest my voice.”


It’s worth noting that in Jonah 2:1-2 you have two different, but similar words for “belly” (me`ah:H4578) - the first in verse 1 referring to the physical organ inside the whale, but is also rendered primarily as “bowels;” the second one is “out of the belly” (beten:H990)


Old Testament Verses for Balaam And Balak 


Alright, let’s go back to our verse in 2 Peter 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;”


The Last Two  Statements Regarding “The Doctrine” [didache:G1322] “Of Balaam” [Balaam:G903]


We have already considered the first of three sinful characteristics - “...who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel…” found in Revelation 2:14, concerning the “doctrine of Balaam,” so now we can move on to the remaining two statements, which are: 


2. “...to eat things sacrificed unto idols…”

3. “...and to commit fornication…”


To Eat [phago:G5315] Things Sacrificed Unto Idols [eidolothytos:H1494]


This second sinful chracteristic is made up of two terms, and only found together one other time in Revelation 2:20, regarding Jezebel who identifes with the corporate churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God, as of May 21, 1988:


“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat [phago:G5315] things sacrificed unto idols. [eidolothytos:H1494]


In Revelation 2:14 God is connecting the terms “a stumblingblock” (scandalon:G4625) with  “things sacrificed unto idols” (eidolothytos:G1494) and with “fornication,” which still needs to be addressed. One of the chapters that we see this very much in evidence is in 1 Corinthians 8, in verses 1, 4, 7, and 10:


“Now as touching things offered unto idols,[eidolothytos:G1494] we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. ... {4} As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, [eidolothytos:G1494] we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one. ... {7} Howbeit [there is] not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat [it] as a thing offered unto an idol; [eidolothytos:G1494] and their conscience being weak is defiled. ... {10} For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;” [eidolothytos:G1494] 


Paul, under divine inspiration, concludes this chapter in verse 13 by saying:


“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend [skandalizo:G4624], I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” [skandalizo:G4624]


The identical word, “to offend” (scandalizo:G4624 - from which our English word, “scandalize” is derived) which is repeated in the foregoing passage is the verb form of the Greek noun, “stumblingblock” (scandalon:G4625)


Things Sacrificed Unto Idols [eidolothytos:G1494 - a compound term, the main word being “eidolon”(G1497) - our English word, “idol” stems from this Greek word]


Actually, this expression “eidolothytos” (G1494) provides a good opportunity to see how to trace a word back to its root word or words, as the case may be. In this instance, “eidolothytos” (H1494) comes from the parent word, “eidolon” (G1497), which stems from a grand-parent term, which then is derived from a great grand-parent root word. For example the main parent word is found in 11 citations and one of them is 1 John 5:21,


“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.[eidolon:G1497] Amen.” 


In turn, “eidolon” (G1497), in turn,  is derived from “eidos” (G1491), which very interestingly, is found in 2 Corinthians 5:7, where it is translated as “sight,” so... spiritually, God is linking “sight” with “idols,” which adds another striking dimension to this important Scripture:


“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” [eidos:G1491]


“Eidos” (G1491) also stems from another term, “eido” (G1492), mostly rendered as “see” or “know,” found three times in 1 Corinthians 2:9 and 11-12; I’ll read verses 9-16 for the sake of the context:


“But as it is written, Eye hath [eido:G14920] not seen [eido:G14920], nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. {10} But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. {11} For what man knoweth [eido:G14920] the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth [eido:G1492] no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know [eido:G1492] the things that are freely given to us of God. {13} Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. {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. {15} But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. {16} For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 


And [kai:G2532] To Commit Fornication [porneuo:G4203]


The third and final sinful element that we find listed in Revelation 2:14 is: “...and to commit fornication,” which I think we’ll wait until next week, Lord willing, to develop, as it is somewhat lengthy.


Summary of Today’s Study


  1. “Stumblingblock” is connected to “idols” (which has to with “sight”) in Revelation 2:14, as well as with (spiritual) “fornication.”
  2. We are living in an intense period of time, when “snares” (“gins”), “traps,” and scourges abound, for those who “walk by sight.”



  • What stood out for you?
  • Was anything unclear? If so, please join our Q. & A. later at 5:30/8:30 PM, to ask your question