Thursday, February 18, 2016

2Peter 2:10-22 comments: abuse in the church

10 ¶  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Peter said that God knows how to reserve the just and the unjust for punishment in the last section but here he goes on to say particularly, and this is still in the context of false teachers, those who walk in immorality and despise God’s authority over them. They are presumptuous and self-willed and have no problem cursing things that they neither know nor understand. I am reminded of preachers who call out Satan during a sermon, defying him to do anything because that preacher, “pleads the blood,” as if to challenge this spiritual being by the preacher’s own spiritual superiority.

Peter goes on to say that angels didn’t even do that.

Zechariah 3:1 ¶  And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2  And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

And in a scene which we are told about only in the short book of Jude in the New Testament;

Jude 1:9  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.

We must always remember, as the book of Job taught us, that Satan and God are not in a war over our souls but that Satan is under God’s authority and can only do what God allows because God is sovereign and has absolute authority and power over all reality, all that is, and all events that transpire.

This is, again, borne out in the error that many priests and preachers make that Jesus paid a ransom to Satan for our souls, giving him much more power and authority in the spiritual world than he actually has. The ransom is paid to God.

Exodus 30:12  When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

1Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Notice that Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and men. He is not the mediator between God and Satan.

From the context it appears that Peter is condemning particularly false teachers who have created a cult centered around their own wicked lusts as we can see by many cult leaders’  immoral behavior and the sexual abuse that some conservative preachers have been accused of.

Many of these men operating in a more conventional church setting have literally obliterated the faith of young people they’ve abused. There are several internet sites for so-called survivors of the Independent Baptist churches which they call a cult. There are even pastors who, as fathers, abused their own children, thereby betraying their role as a child’s father and their pastor.  Jesus warned that this was a very egregious sin against God. In the context of the following He tells His disciples, and this is still under the Law given to Moses, that it would be better to mutilate yourself than to do what many pastors and teachers who called themselves Independent Fundamental Baptists have done. It is important to read the context rather than taking these individual verses out of context to make them apply to what you feel strong about, if it is something other than what God meant.

Matthew 18:1 ¶  At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    7 ¶  Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 8  Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. 10  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. 11  For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12  How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13  And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14  Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

These false teachers know nothing of what they are talking about. They can quote the Bible, even memorize large parts of it, and even win souls in the fundamentalist way of telling other people how wicked THEY are to get them to feel guilt and shame. They will go on and on about Jesus’ suffering on the cross and downplay the resurrection to create a sense of self-loathing and self-hate, manipulating people into many tears for, “what they have done to the Savior,” and tell them that repenting of your sins is fundamental to getting saved, which is not even Biblical.

[The Bible says that repentance, which means changing your mind about something, occurs when you turn from what you believe is justifying you and toward God.

Hebrews 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

See the self-justification of the religious elites; our modern-day fundamentalists and religious liberals in these verses;

Matthew 3:7 ¶  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Believing the gospel IS repenting. By saying that to repent means to turn from your sin only calls God a sinner.

Psalm 135:14  For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.]

They’ll twist verses to make their points and ignore verses that challenge them. They, like Satan, want control over you, and they want to be exalted. In fact, these narcissists love to be admired and appreciated. That’s what they live for.

The sexual content of these verses is clear in the mention of Balaam who devised a way to harm the Israelites whom God would not let him curse.

Numbers 31:7 ¶  And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. 8  And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. 9  And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. 10  And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. 11  And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts. 12  And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.

    13 ¶  And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 14  And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15  And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16  Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Revelation 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

This is important as it is mentioned numerous times in the Bible other than in 2Peter and Revelation and Numbers in such books as Joshua, Nehemiah, Micah, and Jude. The use of the office of the preacher/prophet/pastor/teacher for lascivious and unclean purposes to make the people of God to sin, especially preying on the innocent, deserves a special place in Hell. To twist and use God’s words for gain and self-aggrandizement no less.

It would have been better for these unregenerate, unsaved abusers and manipulators to have never known about Christ and the Bible rather than to have knowledge of it and use it for their exploitive and selfish, wicked purposes.

In verse 22 a dog and a sow represent false male and false female teachers. Context determines meaning. While the word dog can represent the animal (1Kings 22:38), the Jewish view of non-Jews or Gentiles (Matthew 15:26-27), and male temple prostitutes (Deuteronomy 23:18) it also represents false religionists, false teachers, and supposed ministers of the gospel who pervert the truth.

Starting with the obvious cross-reference for 22 from which Peter starts and then adds a parallel about swine;

Proverbs 26:11  As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

Then, the purveyors and followers of false religion in the Psalm that Jesus began quoting from the cross.

Psalms 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet…20  Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

To false teachers that Paul included in his play on words likening those of the physical circumcision to be mutilators, or of the concision while he represents those of the spiritual circumcision in Colossians 2:11.

Philippians 3:2  Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

These false teachers will not have a place in the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, in eternity.

Revelation 22:15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Notice in the following Jesus says not to give that which is holy or cast ye your pearls, which are converts (Matthew 13:45,46), to be destroyed by these people. So, be concerned about where those people who you think you led to the Lord wind up. Read 2Corinthians 11:13-15.

Matthew 7:6  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

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