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Sunday January 23rd 2011
The Second of Peter
1). 2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 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.
a). Wells = Greek ? ?pege?, pay-gay' = a spring (through the idea of gushing plumply); a fount (literally or figuratively), i.e. source or supply (of water, blood, enjoyment) (not necessarily the original spring):--fountain, well.
b). In our last session we had seen how the false teachers from this dispensation were likened to 3 OT characters who were used to exemplify the nature and scope of apostasy in the present day through their actions in the past ? and the characters and their actions presented to us were, ?the way of Cain?, ?the error/way of Balaam? and ?the rebellion of Korah?.
c). Having drawn attention to these examples Peter then uses 2 metaphors to further describe the condition of these false teachers in the present followed by a statement concerning their condition in the future - something which comes about as a result of their present actions.
d). In the companion scripture in Jude we find - Jude 1:12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
e). The first half of v12 we had dealt with last week, so we will move on to the second half of the verse where we see Jude using 4 metaphors ? 3 of which describe the present condition of the false teachers, and overlap with those that we see in Peter and one metaphor that deals with their future condition which is described in exactly the same way as we see in Peter and exists for exactly the same reasons.
f). In Peter the false teachers are described as ?wells/springs without water? and ?clouds carried by a tempest? with their future condition described as being in ?the blackness of darkness? with respect to the age to come.
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g). In Jude they are described as ?clouds without water, carried about by the winds?, ?late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots? and ?raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame? with their final condition being as ?wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness? with respect to the age to come.
2). So let?s look at the first of these metaphors that we find in Peter ? ?These are wells/springs without water?. This is an oriental expression that is best understood within its historical context. To the people of first century Palestine water was a particularly precious commodity and was particularly precious to the traveler for himself and his animals, often being a matter of life or death. However, the lush green that would surround a well/spring was by no means a surety of water. Sometimes despite the greenery that surrounded it the well/spring would be dry; thereby promising much, but delivering nothing to the thirsty traveler. And such would be the case for the false teacher ? on the outside, to the natural perception, they would appear to offer much, but to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness these false teachers would have nothing to offer.
a). Now with this basic picture in place we can develop this metaphor further by drawing from two scriptures in the Gospel of John - Joh 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain [same word translated ?well? in Peter] of water springing up into everlasting [age lasting] life."
b). And again in - Joh 7:37 ? On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
c). What we will immediately see from v39 in John 7 is that Jesus uses water as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, and He does this within the context of the Holy Spirit being sent on the day of Pentecost following the Lord?s resurrection for a specific purpose - Joh 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
d). And so we would see then that drinking the living water, being filled with the Holy Spirit, according to John 4, ?will become in him a fountain [well/spring] of water springing up into everlasting [age lasting] life?; and in John 7, ?out of his heart will flow rivers of living water?.
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e). Now if we are thirsty and go to Christ in order to drink, we will do this by going to the Word, who is Christ, ?the word made flesh?, and through our engagement with the Word, the word of Christ, we will be filled with the Spirit as His word is Spirit and then through the ministry of the Holy Spirit we will be guided into all truth which brings about the metamorphosis as we are changed into the image of Christ.
f). Being filled with the Spirit in the proper fashion, through the word of Christ, would be exactly the same thing as receiving the Word after the fashion described in ? Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
g). So then, in John 4 the idea is of the filling of the Spirit, the word of Christ, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth, springing up in us into age lasting life and in James it is the implanted word that is able to save our souls, again through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, giving us life in the age to come and these would be synonymous with one another as they describe exactly the same thing.
h). And out of those filled with the Spirit, as a result of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, should flow ?rivers of living water?- Lu 6:45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
i). In consequence then we would expect that those filled with the Spirit, filled with the word of Christ, who have drunk of the water Christ would give, who have allowed the ministry of the Holy Spirit through receiving the word with meekness, to be able to speak forth that same word, the word of Christ, as a river, a never ending flow, of life giving truth.
j). And so, to take this back to where we started with our false teachers, having raised themselves up as ?teachers?, they would from their outward appearance be expected to have much to offer those who come to them to be filled with the Spirit through the teaching of the word of Christ; instead though they are empty, speaking perverse things, having nothing of age lasting value to offer - they speak great swelling words of emptiness
k). The exact same truth as this is also presented in Jude - They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds
l). Again here we would see in this metaphor the same idea ? here are clouds that by their outward appearance are promising rain, but pass by without ever delivering one drop. And the reason for this given in Jude is because the false teachers and their followers are ?carried about by the winds?, a phrase which will no doubt remind us of ? Eph 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some
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prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
m). The very ones then who should have been bringing people to spiritual maturity by teaching and preaching the word of Christ did not do so, and are not doing so, but are themselves ?carried about by the winds?, always seeking some new thing, taking those who follow with them.
n). This again is exactly what we see in Peter through the use of his second metaphor - clouds carried by a tempest
o). What is given to us in addition here in Peter that is not in Jude is the use of the word ?tempest?
p). Tempest = Greek ? ?lailaps?, lah'-ee-laps = a whirlwind (squall):--storm, tempest.
q). Now this word is suggestive of the turmoil that is ever present with the false teachers and their followers. Not on a continual basis, but in sudden outbursts as you would expect from a squall. There would be periods of calm followed by what would appear to be an incredible crisis that brings nothing but confusion for a while and then subsides or an intense emotional outburst that leaves the people involved reeling before returning to a period of calm again. And this would be repeated over and over again. And the reason for this is obvious ? they are carried about by winds because there is no firm foundation, always seeking something new, resulting in the lusts of the flesh and the confusion of error.
3). The present condition of the false teachers and their followers is further described in Jude by the use of his next metaphor - late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots
a). And this really is easy for us to understand as it draws attention to the false teachers? fruitless condition. Not that they produce no fruit, for by their fruits you will know them, but no fruit with respect to the Kingdom. The metaphor itself draws from the imagery of fruit trees in late autumn and builds on the description of clouds without water.
b). In late autumn the fruit trees would be expected to be laden with fruit, but these trees, the false teachers, although capable of producing fruit with respect to the Kingdom have produced none. They would look the same as the other fruit trees until the time of harvest and would then be found to be empty.
c). A good example to look at to help us with understanding this is Israel at the time of the Lord?s earthly ministry ? Mt 21:19 And seeing a fig tree by the
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road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away.
d). This incident has some interesting detail added to it in Mark?s Gospel - Mr 11:12 ? Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, "Let no one eat fruit from you ever again." And His disciples heard it. 15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. ?????20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
e). The fig tree of course is used throughout scripture as a type of Israel and here in Mark we see the Lord coming to the barren fig tree, a fig tree with leaves looking as if it should be producing fruit, but barren nonetheless picturing for us the spiritual condition of the nation. This is followed in v14 by Christ cursing the fig tree with respect to this age pointing to the fact that Israel will remain fruitless until the Kingdom Age. And then what follows in v15 -16 are the examples of why Israel is fruitless ? the temple had become a market place where the people of God were exploited for a profit ? and isn?t this exactly what we looked at last week with ?the way of Cain? and ?the error/way of Balaam? with regards to the church in this dispensation?
f). And of course the false teachers and their followers who have gone in ?the way of Cain? and ?the error/way of Balaam? are just as fruitless as Israel was at the Lord?s first advent.
g). We can add further to this picture by looking at Christ?s words in ?
Joh 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
h). The description in Jude of the false teachers being ?twice dead? would have to find reference for us in the second death - Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
i). The contrast implied here in Revelation 20:6 is between those who have a part in the first, the out-resurrection, who will reign with Him a thousand years and
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those who don?t. Those who don?t, who in our context would be the fruitless false teachers and their followers, will be hurt by the second death - Re 2:11 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."'
j). We were all born dead in our trespasses and sins - Eph 2:1 ? And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
k). But we were given eternal life as a free gift as we were saved by grace through faith.
l). Our first death then would have to do with eternal separation from God whereas the second death would have to do with age lasting separation.
m). The false teachers were dead but were made alive, but will now experience the second death making them ?twice dead?.
4). The third metaphor in Jude describes the false teachers as - 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame
a). Raging = Greek ? ?agrios?, ag'-ree-os = wild, fierce, untamed.
b). This word in the original language implies quality rather than action. It is not the actions of the false teachers that are ?wild?, but they themselves are ?wild? in the sense of being uncontrollable, just as a wave is uncontrollable in the natural, they not governed by the Word.
c). The expression of this uncontrollable nature is given in the next words ?foaming up?.
d). Foaming up = Greek ? ?epaphrizo?, ep-af-rid'-zo = to foam upon, i.e. (figuratively) to exhibit (a vile passion):--foam out.
e). Because they are untamed by the word of God, that which is their motivation, that which is at the heart of their deception, will inevitably burst through to the surface just as the crashing wave upon the sea shore releases the foam that was always a part of it.
f). No matter how right and how spiritual the false teachers and their followers may appear, that which is on the inside will inevitably show itself on the surface just as a wave cannot help but foam on the sea shore. That which will be to their shame will at some point become visible and they will bear that shame throughout the course of the Millennial Kingdom.
5). These particular verses in Jude end with the fourth and final metaphor - wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Which is exactly the same as the statement made with regards to the future condition of the false teachers in Peter - for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever [with respect to the age to come].
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a). And in this metaphor and statement we leave the description of the condition of the false teachers in the present and move to their future condition which will come as a result of their present action.
b). The word ?reserved? tells us that the blackness of darkness has been set in place for them in the present and is held in store in readiness for them in the future.
c). Just as a comet, a wandering star, passes through our solar system being a part of it temporarily only to disappear into the blackness of outer space so the false teachers have set themselves apart from Christ?s system of government passing through it but not a part of it and rather than shining like stars as the ones who will rule with Him they will pass into the blackness of darkness for the Kingdom Age.
6). At the conclusion of these metaphors Peter goes on to say - 2Pe 2:18 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.
a). Jude also draws attention to the ?great swelling words of emptiness?, speaking of the false teachers this way - Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
b). In Peter reference to their ?great swelling words of emptiness? comes immediately after the statement concerning the false teachers future condition in the blackness of darkness.
c). In Jude however, there is a section of scripture placed between the blackness of darkness and the great swelling words; a section of scripture concerning the prophecy of Enoch - Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 ? "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
d). There are only two individuals from ?the ancient world? that scripture records as having carried God?s message to the inhabitants of the earth, although according to the evidence of Genesis 4:26 there would have been many more ?
Ge 4:26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.
e). Despite what we see in Genesis 4:26 however God has deemed it necessary to reveal only the prophecy given by Enoch and the fact that Noah was ?a preacher of righteousness? - and neither of these events find any reference in the OT scriptures, but instead, are only revealed by Peter and Jude in the NT.
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f). Noah?s preaching is mentioned in - 2Pe 2:5??? but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness,
But Noah being a preacher of righteousness is not mentioned in the parallel section of scripture in Jude, and in the same way Enoch?s prophecy is mentioned in Jude 1:14-15, but is not in the parallel section of scripture in Peter. And if nothing else this should demonstrate to us the importance of scripture giving commentary on itself, and the need to compare scripture with scripture, as without doing that in this particular instance would cause us to miss so much.
g). Now given where Enoch appears in scriptural history, the seventh generation from Adam, his would have to be one of the oldest prophecies recorded, and that God would see fit to introduce this information at this juncture in Jude is not without significance.
h). Enoch as a type is a picture of Christians, who after a complete period of time represented by seven generations, is removed from the earth to Judgment before Judgment falls upon Israel, typified by Noah being kept in a place of safety through the flood, and the earth dwellers during the Great Tribulation. And within the context of this type Enoch gives a prophecy ?about these men?. ?These men? are ?the clouds without water?, the ?late autumn trees? etc., the false teachers who have been his subject throughout.
i). And so Enoch gives a prophecy about an event that will take place some 5000 years beyond his time, concerning a people who will not be brought into existence until some 3000 years beyond his day. Something he could never do apart from God?s revelation to him.
j). It is remarkable to think that not only does Enoch give this prophecy concerning a future event but his own experience - Ge 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
-is a picture, in the broad sense of all Christians, the very thing he is prophesying about ? 1Pe 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved [saved with difficulty], Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
k). And not only this, but also Enoch?s position as the seventh from Adam is filled with additional significance. From Adam onwards the events of man were being worked out through two established genealogies in what appeared to be an unchanging pattern - Lu 17:27 "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage,
There was the lineage that came through the ungodly line of Cain ?
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Ge 4:16 ? Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son-Enoch.18 To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.19 ? Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah.20 And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.21 His brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute.22 And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.
And the lineage through the godly line of Seth - Ge 5:6 ? Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. 7 After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. 8 So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.9 Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan.10 After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters.11 So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died.12 Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel.
13 After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years, and had sons and daughters.14 So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died.15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared.16 After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters.17 So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died.18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch.19 After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters.20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died.21 ? Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah.22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters.23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
l). However, in the seventh generation things changed. The record concerning the godless line of Cain stops and the record showing the godly line of Seth records a man being taken alive into heaven.
m). Six is man?s number whereas seven is God?s number. Man has been assigned 6 days, 6000 years, but the 7th Day, the 7th 1000 year period belongs to the Lord ? it is the Lord?s Day. And this corresponds not only to the 6 and 7 days of Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 but also to the 6 and 7 generations of Genesis Chapters 4 and 5.
n). At the end of 6 days, 6000 years, pictured in the 6 generations in Genesis Man?s Day will have come to a close. And at the conclusion of Man?s Day two
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things are going to happen ? firstly, the present world system under Satan will be brought to an end, typified by the fact that the lineage of Cain ceases at this point. And secondly, the church, all eternally saved Christians from this dispensation, will be removed from the earth into the heavens, typified by the experience of Enoch, the seventh from Adam.
o). It is as the scripture says - Lu 17:26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
p). In the days of Noah one man, Enoch, was taken alive into the heavens, preceding the flood. In the days of the Son of Man, preceding the Great Tribulation, one man, the one new man in Christ, will be removed from the earth and taken alive into the heavens.
q). And so as we can see that introducing Enoch at this juncture in Jude is greatly significant because it brings to our attention layers of meaning and depths of understanding that direct us to a focal point to which our whole experience is inexorably moving - 2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
r). This being said, we need to see Enoch?s prophecy not just as showing the certainty of certain events, but as a warning to us and a warning to any who would forsake the right way and go astray - Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 ? "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
7). If the Lord is willing we will look in more detail at the content of Enoch?s prophecy next week.