Heavenly Father, may the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You as we come before You today. We offer the living sacrifices of our bodies and the sacrifices of our praises to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
2 Peter 2:1-22, apostate prophets, apostasies, heresies
VVv1-3, 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
There were apostate prophets among the Christians who taught false doctrines and promoted heresies. These apostate prophets denied Christ whom they once knew. They had tasted the Lord’s grace in the past but had abandoned their faith and renounced Christ. Heretic doctrines are deadly, destructive, and blasphemous to God. The apostate prophets covet, exploit, and deceive Christians with lies and deceptive words.
VV 4-8, 4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds),
Peter alluded to Genesis 6: 1-2 regarding the fallen angels who had sex with men. Peter alluded to Genesis 6-7 regarding Noah ark and the flood. Peter alluded to Genesis 19 regarding the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the saving of Lot and his two daughters.
Genesis 6:1-2, “Now it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose”.
Genesis 7:1, The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
Genesis 19:29, “So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived”.
VV 9-11, 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
In the Genesis narratives, God delivered godly people and their families first, (Noah, Lot, and their families), before bringing judgment to the ungodly.
VV 12-14, 12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.
The apostate prophets were corrupt, evil, hypocritical, adulterous, sinful, adulterous, cursed, and covetous, like savage beasts destined for destruction,
VV 15-17, 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
The apostate prophets were like Balaam, the unrighteousness and greedy prophet, Numbers 22:1-24:25. The Moabite King, Balak, hired Balaam to curse the Israelites in exchange for money. Balaam initially refused but later agreed. Balak and Balaam positioned themselves on a mountain where they could see the Israelites passing through. When Balaam opened his mouth to curse Israel, God made him bless Israel instead. Balaam blessed Israel on two more occasions in front of Balak. Once, when Balaam was on his way to meet the Balak, God sent an Angel with a sword to block him. When his donkey saw the Angel and stopped, Balaam beat the donkey. God opened the donkey’s mouth and made it spoke to Balaam. God opened Balaam’s eyes and let him see the Angel with the sword.
VV 18-19, 18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
The apostate teachers were arrogant, boastful, lustful, immoral, corrupted, and enslaved those who followed them.
VV 20-22, 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
The apostate prophets were once redeemed by Christ and but they had abandoned their faith and renounced Christ. It would have been better if they did not know the Lord in the first instance. They were like a scavenger dog eating their vomit and a swine returning to the mud after being cleaned up.
Peter’s generation is very similar to our generation. Today, there are false prophets and heretic teachers who taught false doctrines, promoted heresies, and misused the gospel for their financial gain. We should beware of cults, heresies, and apostasies and reject them outright.
Heavenly Father, help us to discern cults, apostate prophets, apostasies, and heresies. Help us to reject them outright and not be deceived by them. We pray for the word of knowledge, the spirit of wisdom and discernment, and biblical literacy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.