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The Way of Balaam

False Teachers - 6

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Jude spoke of the error of Balaam (Jude 1:11), which was that one could manipulate God into cursing those he has blessed. Revelation tells us about the doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14), which concerned getting Israel to worship Baal of Peor instead of or as though he were the God of Israel. However, Peter’s epistle concerns itself with the way of Balaam or the **method** he used to deceive Israel into doing what he wanted done. In 2Kings 18:18-21 Elijah, the prophet, confronted King Ahab of Israel who had sent out the prophets (teachers) of Baal into all the tribes of Israel. In doing so, he was able to corrupt Israel and draw them away from the God of Israel. This is what Balaam did by telling Balak to send women (prophetesses) into the camps of Israel to deceive them into following after the ways of Baal, rather than the ways of God. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Sins of the False Teachers

Access Denied

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There seems to be some misunderstanding about Peter’s second epistle, as it pertains to the false teachers, whom he describes in his second chapter. Most commentaries I’ve read believe they were licentious men who taught believers to commit open adultery and the like. However, I don’t believe this is true, either contextually (why would a believer be tempted to do such a thing, believing he honored God), or when one compares Peter with Paul. If the destructive heresies were to be brought into the believing community privately (2Peter 2:1), I don’t see how this could be done by men who were openly sexually immoral. Their immorality had to have been spiritual, and the fact that they were secretly coming against the Bride of Christ was spiritual adultery (cf. Romans 3:5-8). If the accusation against the apostles and Messianic believers was that they claimed doing evil brought good, it stands to reason that the false teachers didn’t believe it was appropriate to openly live in wicked manner. Therefore, they wouldn’t seek to tempt believers to commit open adultery. Something else is in view rather than open sexual immorality. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Speaking of Evil of Angels

False Teachers

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Some interpret 2Peter 2:11 as though Peter were speaking of angelic beings. However, if one understood Peter referring to angelic beings, of what good would that serve? If an angel was slandered, what has that to do with the Gospel? It seems to me such an understanding is high sounding, but it has little value, as it pertains to how one should walk with Christ in this world. As I’ve said elsewhere, the Greek word anggelos (G32) can refer to either an angelic being or a human messenger. It can even refer to a physical annoyance (2Corinthians 12:7) that serves to recall something in the past or remind us of something that would come later. To simply say 2Peter 2:11 refers to angelic beings, I believe goes beyond the context of Peter’s epistle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The False Teachers

False Teachers - 2

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God knows very well how to rescue the godly out of trouble, while still reserving the wicked for judgment. Both Noah and Lot were counted righteous by God (Genesis 6:9; 2Peter 2:7). However, at least in the case of Lot, the righteous had to be literally pushed by the angels before they would leave their wicked environment (Genesis 19:16). On the other hand, Zacharias and Elizabeth, who were also considered righteous (dikaioi – Luke 1:6), praised God for what he was doing in their lives (Luke 1:68). The righteousness of Lot is seen in the fact that both he and Noah stood alone in their respective wicked environments. God is just, and it is not his intention to destroy the righteous with the ungodly. Therefore, the believers in Asia Minor could take heart and be encouraged through Peter’s epistle (2Peter 2:9). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The World of the Ungodly

Genesis 6

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In 2Peter 2:4-9 Peter wrote of three examples of God’s judgment in the book of Genesis, which he likened to the judgment God would bring upon the false teachers and those who trusted in them in the first century AD. In a previous blogpost I discussed the first example, the angels (2Peter 2:4), saying they were not spirit beings, but men. They were messengers, whom God intended to lead the world in the antediluvian period and teach the people about God. Nevertheless, most of them seemed to have rebelled, so God darkened their minds (cf. Romans 1:21), which is the sense of the Greek word tartarus (G5020). This darkening of the mind keeps one from seeing his tragic fate brought on by his sins. The only remedy for this darkness is to repent and come into the council of God—submitting to the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Folks Tend to Believe False Teachers

False Teachers - 1

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In the second chapter of his second epistle Peter began to tell of the prophesied false teachers. Like the false prophets of the Old Testament, they took their place in the assembly of God claiming to represent him, but, instead, they preached the dreams and desires of men. The prophets of old prophesied peace when they should have sounded out an alarm. They claimed to speak for the Lord, but they spoke out of the imagination of their own hearts (Jeremiah 23:15-16). Had they stood in the council of the Lord, pondering his word, they would have been equipped to turn God’s people from evil (Jeremiah 23:21-22). Rather, they invented stories, claiming disaster wouldn’t come (Jeremiah 23:25-27) and the people hardened their hearts and continued in their evil ways. Similarly, Peter warned of teachers of his own day who sought to turn the hearts and minds of believers away from the Lord, changing Scripture into something God never intended to say. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Sleeping Spirit!

Spiritual Sleep

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William Barclay[1] brings out an interesting point concerning the sleep of the Apostles at Luke 9:32, which corresponds to spiritual sleep of men, including believers. Another way of referring to this sleep would be the hardness of our hearts to receive spiritual truth. The disciples didn’t see Jesus’ glory, until they were fully awake. Likewise, we miss so much of what God would like us to see, because our spirits are lulled to sleep, showing we simply don’t have a heart for the truth God desires that we learn. While it is God’s will for us to know him, and nothing can prevent God from doing his will (Daniel 4:35), God has also willed to work in and through mankind. That is, he has willed to work in and through our limitations, which include the limitations we place upon him, due to our hard hearts (cf. Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:4-6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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