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Second
Peter
Chapter 2
verses 1-5
Even though the nations of Judah and Israel had true prophets of God, they
also had false prophets – those who claimed to receive revelation from God,
but did not. These are the men who were the true troublers in Israel and
Judah.

“They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come
upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine: And the prophets shall
become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.”
(KJV – Jeremiah 5:12,13)

“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is
given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one
dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people
slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.  Were they ashamed
when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed,
neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at
the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.” (KJV –
Jeremiah 6:13-15)

Even as these false prophets were of old, so there would be false teachers in
the church.

Jesus warned against false prohets and teachers.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do
men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good
tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good
fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast
into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one
that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but
he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me
in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy
name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that
work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and
doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a
rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and
beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And
every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be
likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the
rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon
that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (KJV – Matthew 7:15-27)

Paul warned the elders from Ephesus similarly.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself,
so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have
received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And
now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the
kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record
this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to
declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto
yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made
you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his
own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves
enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men
arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased
not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I
commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build
you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know,
that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that
were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought
to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he
said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (KJV – Acts 20:24-35)

John warned of false teachers is as well as how to tell the true teacher from
the false teacher.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of
God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know
ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in
the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof
ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is
he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world:
therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 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. Beloved, let us
love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of
God, and knoweth God.” (KJV1 John 4:1-7)

The false teacher does not listen to the Bible – the voice of the apostles.
The false teacher says, “I don’t care what the Bible says…” The false
teacher says, “The Bible says, but…” In some way, in some manner, they
reject or belittle the authority of the Bible. They reject the need for Biblical
authority. They don’t need book, chapter and verse. They have grown
beyond the need for specific instructions from the Bible. The true teacher
listens to, respects, and needs the authority and voice of the Bible.

These false teachers are not merely mistaken in their presentation – they
“bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.”
These are not mere differences of opionion – differences of opinion will
happen whenever you have two people – these are major departures that
will cause one to lose their soul, either by teaching them or by believing
them. These teachings even deny who Jesus is.

From the Gnostics to the Modernists, men have changed, wrested and
demolished who Jesus is and how He is plainly revealed in the scripture. It
has been denied that Jesus came in the flesh, that He rose from the grave,
even that He was in fact the only-begotten Son of God.

False teaching did not, and does not, end with teachings about the person of
Jesus. It also includes anything which undermines and denies the entire
scheme of redemption or corrupts the worship of the One True God.
Although these teachings or doctrines were and are damnable (in the full
sense of the term), many would and do accept them. Moses in the long ago
said, “thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2). Just
because many or the majority accept a position, or just because a minority
accept a position, does not make it right. Truth is not determined by
numbers – it is determined by the Word of God.

One of the banes of Christianity during its entire history has been the
acceptance of false teaching. From the departures of Roman Catholicism to
the acceptance of the “Curse of Ham” theory which bolstered American
slavery by Protestantism to the varied and sundry doctrines of the centuries,
the truth has been “evil spoken of” for the wickedness which it has been
supposedly promoting.

The reason for the existence of false teachers: covetousness. They are
saying what they say, and doing what they do to line their own pockets and
solidify their own power. They are selfish in the extreme.

No one exhibits this concept more than most TV evangelists, especially
those who preach the “heath, wealth and wisdom gospel.” From Aimee
Simple McPherson to Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker, the American
populace has seen these false teachers come and go.

Their judgment is sure – their damnation is fixed.

Look at history – divine history.

God did not spare the angels who sinned.

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own
habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the
judgment of the great day.” (KJV – Jude 6)

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (KJV –
Matthew 25:41)

The origin of the devil is not given in scripture. The poetry of Dante and
other literature make an elaborate story of the fall of Satan. Foy E. Wallace,
Jr. rejects the ideas of angels falling, relying upon the definition of
Alexander Campbell that angels are messengers and can also be used to
describe the    patriarchs and prophets. He, therefore, makes the angels
referred to in this verse the men of old, such as Solomon when he was led
away by his wives. E.M. Zerr states. “We occasionally meet people who are
troubled over the idea of angels sinning since they are in heaven. They are
overlooking the truth that neither angels nor man have reached the
judgment day, and until that time both classes are capable of sinning. Were
that not the case there would not now be such a creature as ‘the devil,’ for
he was once in heaven and was thrust out because of his pride (1 Timothy 3:
6; Luke 10:18). But after the judgment no more changes will take place for
better or for worse (See Revelation 22:10,11). That means after that all
wicked men and angels will be in the place of everlasting punishment where
they can never reform, and the righteous men and angels will be in heaven
where they can never sin because of the divine decree is that the righteous
shall ‘be righteous still.’” [Bible Commentary, Vol. 6; 1954; p. 273] Whatever
the origin of the devil and his minions, God did not spare the angels who
sinned.

Remember the story of Noah and the ark?

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that
every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And
it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him
at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from
the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the
fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found
grace in the eyes of the LORD.

“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his
generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem,
Ham, and Japheth. “

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with
violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all
flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the
earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them
with the earth.  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in
the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the
fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three
hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty
cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish
it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with
lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do
bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the
breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall
die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the
ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of
every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark,
to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after
their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth
after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to
thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah;
according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark;
for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean
beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of
beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.  Of fowls also of
the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face
of all the earth.  For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth
forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I
destroy from off the face of the earth.  

“And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. And Noah
was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

“And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him,
into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of
beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth
upon the earth, There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male
and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

”And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were
upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second
month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the
fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were
opened.  And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the
sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them,
into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after
their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his
kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.  And they went
in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of
life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had
commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

“And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and
bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed,
and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face
of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all
the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen
cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

“And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle,
and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and
every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the
dry land, died.  And every living substance was destroyed which was upon
the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and
the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah
only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters
prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

“And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that
was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and
the waters asswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of
heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the
waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the
hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.  And the ark rested in the
seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains
of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in
the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the
mountains seen.

“And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window
of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth
to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.  Also he sent
forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of
the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she
returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole
earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him
into the ark.  And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth
the dove out of the ark; And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo,
in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters
were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and
sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. And it
came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first
day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah
removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the
ground was dry.

“And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month,
was the earth dried. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark,
thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. Bring forth
with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of
cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they
may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the
earth.

”And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with
him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever
creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.  And
Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of
every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD
smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again
curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's
heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing
living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and
cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you
shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon
all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your
hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for
you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the
life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your
blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it,
and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the
life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed:
for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply;
bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spake
unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my
covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living
creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the
earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off
any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to
destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I
make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for
perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a
token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass,
when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every
living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to
destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it,
that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living
creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is
the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all
flesh that is upon the earth.” (KJV – Genesis 6:5-9:17)

This is not a myth or legend. It is not fiction – it is reality. God destroyed the
entire world with a flood except for Noah, his wife, his three sons and their
wives. For forty days and forty nights the rain fell. The fountains of the deep
– the springs of the earth both in the oceans and on the land – opened up. If
the ocean floor came up and the ice caps melted, there was and is more
than enough water to cover the highest hills to a depth of about thirty feet.
All of the evidence which is credited with being the remnants of an ice age,
can just as readily be explained as evidence of the flood.
Every man, woman and child in the world died. God’s wrath was final. “God
is a consuming fire!”

But, it was not only a matter of judgment and wrath; it was also a matter of
grace. Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. God will punish those who
deserve it, but He will spare and care for His people. God waited one
hundred twenty years as Noah built the ark. He patiently waited as Noah
built the ark and preached. For one hundred twenty years He gave men the
opportunity to repent. Every opportunity was given before judgment. But do
not mistake, judgment came.