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Sunday January 30th 2011
The Second of Peter
1). 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."
a). The Book of Jude is the only place in scripture where we will find this prophecy given by Enoch and it is noteworthy that God has seen fit to reveal this prophecy within a context dealing with apostasy contained in a Book that is the last Book in the NT before we enter into the Book of Revelation which deals with the very thing that Enoch is prophesying about. And with regards to finding this prophecy in Jude we had seen last week the importance of comparing scripture with scripture with respect to the companion Books of 2 Peter and Jude.
b). Because this prophecy of Enoch only appears in Jude we need to take it in conjunction with what we see in 2 Peter to add significantly to that to which the Holy is calling our attention.
c). We had already seen in - 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, 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.
d). Judgment is to begin ?at the house of God?, and within our context this would be all Christians, those who currently make up the house of God. And the questions are asked within the scope of this judgment, ?what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?? and, ?If the righteous one is scarcely saved [saved with difficulty] where will the ungodly and the sinner appear??
e). The answer to these questions is given to us in 2 Peter and Jude through the examples of the destruction of the ancient world in Noah?s day and the destruction of the cities of the plain in Lot?s day; both of these examples showing us the certainty and the severity of the judgment that awaits the ?ungodly?, those who would forsake the right way and go astray ? the false teachers.
f). Enoch?s prophecy deals with exactly the same group, the ?ungodly?, those who are false teachers, and what is most intriguing about it is that it talks of an event that is to take place some 5000 years beyond Enoch?s time and is given
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concerning a people, the one new man in Christ, who would not come into existence until some 3000 years beyond his day. And what we might also note is that Enoch gives his prophecy before God brings judgment on the ancient world and before the destruction of the cities of the plain ? the two events that are used to exemplify that which awaits the ?ungodly?, the false teachers.
g). 2Pe 2:4 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) -- 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,
h). If we look at the order for this we see God speaking through Enoch?s prophecy in the antediluvian world with words that are most specifically for the future and then validating His words in this prophecy in the past through the example of the judgment of the flood which follows. A most remarkable thing.
2). So let?s look for a moment at that which God says through Enoch in his prophecy - Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also,
a). As we have noted before, reference to, ?these men? take us back to the apostates of the previous verses who have followed ?the way of Cain?, ?the error of Balaam? and ?the rebellion of Korah? and what he says concerning them is as follows - "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 ? "to execute judgment on all,
b). The event described here, of which Enoch himself is the type, is the rapture of the ?Church?, all the eternally saved from this dispensation ?
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.11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;
c). And we will note the level of angelic involvement in this, ?the Lord comes with ten thousand of His saints? ? the word translated ?saints? here is the Greek word ?hagios? meaning ?holy ones? and contextually this would have to refer to angels as quite clearly there would be no fully redeemed Christians to come with the Lord at this point as those determinations will not yet have been made ?
Re 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
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And nor would such an action fit with the types presented in the life of Joseph and the life of Moses.
d). We would also see that the number ?ten thousand? comes from the Greek word from which we get our word ?myriad?, an unspecified number, which is really how we would have to view this ? Job 25:3 Is there any number to His armies? Upon whom does His light not rise?
e). To confirm that those who come with the Lord are angels can be easily ascertained just by comparing scripture with scripture - 2Th 1:7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
f). And again in this scripture from 2 Thessalonians we see the execution of judgment just as is spoken of in Jude. And again, to confirm that angels are the instruments of God?s will in executing this judgment we can go back to ?
Mt 13:40 "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
g). Our sampling of scriptures here from Matthew, Thessalonians and Jude all speak of exactly the same thing ? the separation of the ungodly from the godly at Christ?s Judgment Seat. For the godly is reserved an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away, and for the ungodly the blackness of darkness for the age to come.
h). We can also find reference to this same separation from Paul in ?
Php 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the [out] resurrection from the dead.
3). Enoch?s prophecy continues - 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
a). In the execution of Judgment the Lord and His angels are to ?convict all who are ungodly among them?
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b). Convict = Greek ? ?exelegcho?, ex-el-eng'-kho = to convict fully, i.e. (by implication) to punish:--convince.
c). And again, contextually, the ?ungodly? will be the false teachers and their followers, the ones we saw referred to in 1 Peter - Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?
d). The ungodly being ?among them? would of course be the ungodly amongst the righteous at the Judgment Seat prior to their separation. And once again we can go to the Matthew 13 parables to find this pictured for us ?
Mt 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
e). The ?ungodly deeds which the ungodly have committed in an ungodly way? would refer us back to their actions in ?the way of Cain?, ?the error of Balaam? and ?the rebellion of Korah?. The false teachers and their followers are designated as ungodly as their deeds/works have been done completely apart from the will of the Father.
f). The ?harsh things? that the false teachers, here called ?ungodly sinners?, have spoken against Him are not necessarily ?harsh things? spoken directly against God Himself, although that could of course be true, but would rather, within the context of the rebellion of Korah, be those things spoken against the Lord?s appointed authority which in effect would be spoken against the Lord Himself as He is the One who appointed the authority - Ro 13:1 ? Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
4). Jude then continues with a further description of the false teachers which gives examples of the way they have spoken harsh things against God - Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
a). And with the introduction of the phrase ?great swelling words? we find ourselves back where we left Peter last week - 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.
b). Grumblers = Greek ? ?goggustes?, gong-goos-tace' = one who discontentedly complains
c). The word is used of the cooing of doves and it refers not to a loud, outspoken dissatisfaction, but to an undertone of muttering.
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d). Complainers = Greek ? ?mempsimoiros?, mem-psim'-oy-ros = lit. blamers of their lot. A discontent with the circumstances of their life.
e). In Jude we see that the grumblers and complainers are walking according to their own lusts ? they have a predetermined course that they are following that is motivated entirely by self interest.
f). And in order to satisfy their self interest they speak ?great swelling words? literally words that are ?bulging over?, extravagant words, and the purpose behind this is to flatter people to gain advantage. Rather than looking to please God with respect to the future the grumblers and complainers are looking to elevate themselves in the eyes of man so as to put themselves in a place of advantage in the present. We might remember the example of David?s son Absalom when picturing this.
g). Peter tells us that these great swelling words are words of emptiness, they are futile and the word itself denotes moral insincerity. And they are words used to ?allure through the lusts of the flesh?.
h). This verbose speech then on the part of the false teachers was futile, was empty, in that it didn?t accomplish that for which speech was intended, to convey accurate and true information ? rightfully dividing the word of truth ? all it did was to allure, like using bait, their hearers so that they would become followers of the false teachers ? it is in this that we would understand them being ?wells without water? ? they promise much but deliver nothing.
i). The bait would come through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, by appealing to the supposed needs and desires of the hearers carnal nature, appealing to that which would satisfy the man of flesh. And let?s not be diverted by the words ?lusts? and ?lewdness? used here, the appeal to the man of the flesh will always come in the form of ?has God indeed said?? and would be anything that would cause us to follow our own desires rather than the truth of scripture.
j). And so we see then an appeal to the carnal nature of ?the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error?.
k). The verb translated ?escaped? here is in the present tense thereby showing an ongoing process and would be better understood as ?those who are actually in the process of escaping? ? and this process of escaping is in its early stages and would take us back to that already recorded in v14 - 2Pe 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls.
l). Those who would be allured by the lusts of the flesh and lewdness would be the very ones who do not have a firm foundation and therefore easily swayed away from the truth ? and this would not just mean those who may be new to the word of the Kingdom but also those who do not invest the proper time or effort to the study of the word.
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m). And the irony we would see here is that those who are allured were in the process of escaping from ?those who live in error?, who contextually would be our false teachers ? they were beginning to understand the truth and were therefore escaping from the false doctrine perpetrated by the false teachers, but because their foundation was not firm the very ones they were in the process of escaping from have enslaved them.
5). 2Pe 2:19 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). The false teachers promise the unstable souls ?liberty?, they offer them freedom - Ge 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
5 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
b). But the false teachers themselves are ?slaves of corruption?, they are in bondage to their own lie, to the false message they perpetuate and the wrong behaviors that come from it.
c). The lie is always that to do what we want brings us freedom because we get to do what will make us happy, but what it does is to put us in bondage to sin, whereas the reality is that it is only in subjecting ourselves to God?s word that we can ever be free - Ga 5:1 ? Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
d). If a person is ?overcome? by a false teacher they themselves, through receiving the false message are brought into the same bondage as the teacher.
6). In the companion scripture in Jude we see this - Jude 1:17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
a). Clearly the recipients of Jude?s letter had already heard ?the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ? concerning the ?mockers? who would come in the last time and so Jude was taking the opportunity to remind them of what they already knew, the very same thing that Peter does - 2Pe 1:12 ? For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
1Ti 4:1 ? Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
b). Mockers = Greek ? ?empaiktes?, emp-aheek-tace' = a derider, i.e. (by implication) a false teacher:--mocker, scoffer.
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c). And the apostles had already told them, just as we find in Peter that the false teachers would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. They are described as ?sensual?, which may do better for our understanding as soulical. They have a redeemed spirit who through the work of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the word could dictate their actions, actions which would be God focused, and they also have an unredeemed soul that is motivated entirely by self interest and is worldly focused which can also dictate their actions. Being ?sensual?/soulical it is the latter, the unredeemed soul that leads and not the man of the spirit.
d). They, through their actions ?cause divisions?.
e). Divisions = Greek ? ?apodiorizo, ap-od-ee-or-id'-zo = to disjoin (by a boundary, figuratively, a party):--separate.
f). The literal idea here is of drawing a line through the church so as to set off one part from another. And inevitably this will cause the schism spoken of in Romans 16 - Ro 16:17 ? Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
g). And this happens because they do not have the Spirit. Now clearly this is not a reference to their eternal salvation as the evidence of scripture is that they are eternally saved, rather this would take us back to where we were a moment ago with the false teachers focus on self interest and the things of the world ? so in control is their self interest and their love of the world that it is as if they have no spiritual influence upon them whatsoever.
7). 2Pe 2:20 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."
a). Even though the Lord has left us in no doubt as to the seriousness with which He regards false teaching, the second Chapter of 2 Peter ends with a dire warning and a graphic explanation of the false teachers actions.
b). The ?they? of v20 are contextually the false teachers who had escaped the pollutions of the world through the epignosis knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
c). As we had seen at the beginning of our study of 2 Peter it is through the mature/epignosis knowledge of Christ alone that we are set free from the pollutions of the world ? the worldliness that would taint and defile and corrupt us. Again
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there is that which has its basis in sacrifice, with God as its focus and there is that which has self as its basis and the world as its focus - Joh 12:25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal [age lasting] life.
Jas 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
d). Just as God would not accept a tainted sacrifice in the old creation in Adam, neither will He accept one in the new creation in Christ.
e). De 15:21 "But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God.
f). Ro 12:1 ? I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
g). The false teachers however, had at one time escaped that which is worldly, that which would taint and defile and corrupt but have again become entangled in those very same things and overcome. Having once been set free from sin they have now become slaves to sin once more - Ro 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
h). And as we think about being entangled in the pollutions of the world again this would encompass all that we have studied with regards to ?the way of Cain?, ?the error of Balaam? and ?the rebellion of Korah?.
i). 1Co 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
j). And the warning that we see with respect to this is that those who are entangled in the pollutions of the world again and overcome, that the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
h). This thought is then extended in a statement that is really quite shocking
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.
i). It is hard to imagine, knowing what God has revealed to us concerning the coming Kingdom of Christ, that we could be better off not having known anything about it. And yet according to our scripture it would be better to know nothing than to have known the way of righteousness and then turn from [apostatize] from the holy commandment that had been delivered.
j). It will not surprise us to know that the Lord addresses this very situation during His earthly ministry in a parable that He gives in - Lu 12:42 And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 "Blessed is
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that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 "Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 "But if that servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 "the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
k). And so our chapter ends with an explanation of what appears to be inexplicable - 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."
l). The Lord directs Peter?s attention to Proverbs 26:11 with the example of the dog - Pr 26:11 ? As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.
m). And then adds the example of the sow, which is the only place this is found in scripture.
n). And both of these examples are graphically obvious.
8). And so here at the end of 2 Peter Chapter 2 we will pause until next time ? if the Lord is willing.