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Second
Peter
Chapter 2
verses 9-22
But, those false teachers who “walk after the flesh in the lust of
uncleanness, and despise governments” are reserved for punishment. They
are motivated by the wrong things, and by the wrong principles. Led by their
lusts for money, power and pride, they despise authority – either that of man
or God. Selfish, they are willing to speak against any authority or dignitary
with an arrogance not even the angels in heaven will dare to exhibit.

“Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and
speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the
devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a
railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 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.” (KJV – Jude 8-10)

They are no more than brute beasts operating on instinct, which is nothing
more than the lusts of the flesh. They are dumb as steers fattened to be
slaughtered. For even as these animals are devoid of understanding what is
going to happen to them, these teachers are devoid of the things they speak
of. Ignorant of what they speak, they are equally ignorant of the end that
awaits them. They will receive “the reward of the unrighteous.” Just as the
sinner who operates openly and without shame commit their sin in open
daylight will receive the punishment of God, so will these false 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 7:21-28)

They are “spots” and “blemishes” upon the church. Hypocritically they
deceive the church while feasting with them on the body and blood of
Jesus, while being filled with unrighteousness – “white washed
sepulchers.” They cannot, or at least will not, quit sinning. Whether
adulterous eyes, lasciviousness, or the deceiving and tricking of souls who
will fall for their lies, they serve their bellies searching for pride, power and
money.

Balaam had done the same thing.

“And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on
this side Jordan by Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel
had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because
they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all
that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And
Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. He sent
messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by
the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold,
there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the
earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee,
curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall
prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land:
for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest
is cursed. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the
rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake
unto him the words of Balak.

“And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word
again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode
with Balaam. And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these
with thee? And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of
Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, Behold, there is a people come out of
Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them;
peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. And God
said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the
people: for they are blessed. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said
unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to
give me leave to go with you. And the princes of Moab rose up, and they
went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.

“And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.
And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of
Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:  For I will
promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest
unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.

“And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would
give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the
LORD my God, to do less or more. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also
here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. And
God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call
thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee,
that shalt thou do. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass,
and went with the princes of Moab.

“And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD
stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his
ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the
LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass
turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the
ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of
the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when
the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and
crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the
angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no
way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the
angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was
kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam,
What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there
were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto
Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was
thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
“Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the
LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed
down his head, and fell flat on his face.

“And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten
thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because
thy way is perverse before me:  And the ass saw me, and turned from me
these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had
slain thee, and saved her alive.

“And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not
that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee,
I will get me back again.  

“And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only
the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went
with the princes of Balak.

“And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him
unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost
coast.

“And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call
thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote
thee to honour?

“And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any
power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that
shall I speak. And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto
Kirjathhuzoth. And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and
to the princes that were with him.

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought
him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost
part of the people.
“And Balaam said un
to Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and
seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam
offered on every altar a bullock and a ram. And Balaam said unto Balak,
Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come
to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee.

“And he went to an high place.  And God met Balaam: and he said unto him,
I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock
and a ram. And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return
unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak. And he returned unto him, and, lo,
he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.

“And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought
me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me
Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed?
or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied? For from the top of the
rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell
alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the
dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the
death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

“And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to
curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.
“And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the
LORD hath put in my mouth?

“And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place,
from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of
them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence. And he
brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven
altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.  And he said unto
Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder. And
the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto
Balak, and say thus.

“And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the
princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD
spoken?

“And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken
unto me, thou son of Zippor: God is not a man, that he should lie; neither
the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?
or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received
commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He
hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in
Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an
unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any
divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and
of Israel, What hath God wrought!  Behold, the people shall rise up as a
great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he
eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.

“And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at
all. But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All
that the LORD speaketh, that I must do? And Balak said unto Balaam, Come,
I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please
God that thou mayest curse me them from thence. And Balak brought
Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon. And Balaam
said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven
bullocks and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a
bullock and a ram on every altar.

“And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not,
as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the
wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his
tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. And he
took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the
man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of
God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having
his eyes open: How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O
Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as
the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees
beside the waters. He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed
shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his
kingdom shall be exalted. God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it
were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies,
and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He
couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up?
Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee. 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. 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. And Balaam said unto Balak,
Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, 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? And now, behold, I go unto my
people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to
thy people in the latter days. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam
the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He
hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the
most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but
having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but
not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out
of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of
Sheth.  And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for
his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that
shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

“And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek
was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for
ever.  And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said,
Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.
Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away
captive.  And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God
doeth this! And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict
Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever. And Balaam
rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.

“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom
with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices
of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And
Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled
against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the
people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce
anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the
judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.”
(KJV – Number 22:1-25:5)

Balak, the king of the Moabites, sought out Balaam to pay him to curse
Israel. God told Balaam, NO. But Balak persisted, offering Balaam more
prestige and more money. Although Balaam know what God had said, he
checked to see whether He would change His mind. When Balaam left to go
to Balak, the LORD sent an angel to slay Balaam. His donkey saved his life.
Three times Balaam was saved by his donkey without Balaam’s knowledge
by turning aside, crushing his foot, and laying down. The third time Balaam
lost it, wishing to kill his donkey because he was unaware of the presence of
the angel which sought his life. He was so mad, it didn’t even faze him when
the donkey turned to speak to him. Finally, he realized his error. As Balaam
had said earlier, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I
cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.” Balaam
now needed to remember and implement these words.

Balak was not satisfied with the refusal of Balaam to curse Israel, so he took
Balaam to various locations to see if he would change with the location. How
many people today change with the location? If they are with new people,
and especially people who have never known them before, they change. But
to Balaam’s credit, he did not change what he said.

However, Balaam fell prey to the pressure for power and penury. Balaam
taught Balak that Israel could be defeated if they forsook God by committing
adultery and idolatry.

This is what many false teachers are doing today: replacing God with
another loyalty, and accepting wicked behavior as fine – from homosexuality
to living together without marriage to unscriptural marriages.

These false teachers are dry wells. In the words of the Cherokee chief after
hearing a Methodist missionary, “Much wind. Much thunder. No rain.” They
speak, and sound impressive; but, when you think about what they said –
they haven’t said anything. They refuse to say anything, take a position, or
do anything that might be controversial.

They are clouds driven by the storms – “blown about by every wind of
doctrine.” They agree with whomever they are speaking to. They are yes
men, seeking to tickle the ears of whomever they are speaking to.

They reach out to Christians (and the world) not by the power of the truth,
but through “the lusts of the flesh.” They appeal to the wrong things. They
appeal to the desires of the flesh – money, sex, power – allowing people to
remain in situations that bring them these things, and utilizing appeals to
pleasure and power and popularity to draw crowds.

They promise those who listen to them freedom from sin, while they
themselves are overridden with sin. Remember, if you are overcome by sin,
you are in bondage to sin. They promise their followers what they do not
have.

The end of both these teachers and their followers is worse than their
beginning. They had been cleansed by the blood of Christ, but now they are
soiled by sin. They had escaped the clutches of wickedness, but now they
are entangled again. In the end, nothing will eat at them more than their
conscience, they knew better, they knew what was right.

They are like the proverbial dog which returns to eat what it has vomited.
Or, like the pig which will wallow in the mud after being washed. It is like the
question posed on a website about beagles: “How do you keep a beagle from
eating its own feces?” Answer: “Get to it before it does.” The imagery is
sickening; it is gross. It is meant to be. The whole idea of a saint returning to
sin is, and should be, sickening.