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 (James & 1, 2 Peter)
Lesson - 19
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Lesson 19



Rise of False Prophets and Teachers (2:1-3)

Law of Recompense (2:4-10a)

Punishment of rebellious angels (4)

Destruction of Noah’s generation (5)

Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (6-8)

Delivering the godly and reserving punishment for the unjust (9-10a)

Wickedness of the False Teachers (2:10b-16)

Empty Promises and Apostasy of the False Teachers (2:17-22)

Key Words/Phrases

False prophets, false teachers, secretly, destructive heresies, destruction, covetousness, delivered, judgment, lust, speak evil, wages of unrighteousness, carouse, enticing, overcome, bondage.

Segment Analysis

1.      They are among God’s people (1).

2.      They preach destructive heresies using deceptive words , and they go as far as to deny the Lord Jesus (1, 3).

3.      False teachers can mislead believers and ruin their faith in the Lord, bringing them to destruction (1; cf Mt 23:15). Consequently, when others see the corrupt ways of these false teachers and believers who have been misled, they will blaspheme the way of truth (2Pet 2:2; cf. Rom 1:23-24).

4.      The false teachers “secretly bring in destructive heresies,” and they use deceptive words. They pretend to be preachers of the truth, but they subtly convey misleading messages (cf. 2Cor 11:12-15). Believers who are not careful will easily fall into their trap.

5.      In the first chapter, Peter has already prepared his readers for the threat of heresies. He urged us to be diligent in equipping ourselves with spiritual qualities so that we will not stumble (1:5-8,10). Only when we become mature in our spiritual growth can we guard against the deception of false teachings (Eph 4:13-14). Furthermore, we must devote ourselves to watchful prayers (1Pet 4:7; 5:8) and ask the Lord to give us wisdom and discernment.

6.      They are driven by covetousness and aims to exploit the believers (3).

7.      Just as God delivered the righteous but brought judgment upon the wicked in history, He is now also reserving the false teachers and their followers under punishment for the day of judgment.

8.      They sin (4). They behave with filthy conduct and lawless deeds (7-8). They walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority (10).

9.      Because the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, we should not give up in our struggle against sin or become envious of evildoers. Instead, we ought to rely on the Lord with a steadfast faith and resist sin while trusting that the Lord will deliver us from evil.

10.  They are presumptuous and self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries (10). They speak evil of things they do not understand (12). They carouse in the daytime in their own deceptions while they feast with the believers (13; “feast” refers to the love feast among believers; cf. Jude 12). While they join the fellowship of believers, they have eyes that are full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls (14). They practice covetousness (14). They follow the way of Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness (15).

11.  The reference to angels shows how presumptuous these false teachers are. If even angels, who are not greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against the “dignitaries” (probably referring to the servants of God, cf 2Cor 3:5-11, or certain celestial beings), how arrogant are these men who speak evil of those in authority!

12.  Their wickedness make them blemishes in the holy fellowship of believers (1Cor 5:6-8). Such people will not be able to stand in the assembly of the righteous (Ps 1:5).

13.  Based on verse 18, we understand that the analogy of the wells without water and cloud carried by tempest illustrate the futility of the false teachers, who can only make empty claims.

14.  The liberty that they promote is the liberty to sin against God’s law.

15.  Those who think that they are free from God’s law are in fact the slaves of sin (19; Jn 8:34).

16.  Apostasy means becoming entangled and overcome by the pollutions of the world after having escaped them (20). It means turning from the holy commandment delivered to us (21). It would have been better for such to not have known the Lord in the first place because their judgment will be more serious than that for unbelievers (20-21).

17.  Teachings and conduct of false teachers

18.  Deny the Lord, covetous, deceptive, indulge in fleshly desires, presumptuous, slanderous, full of adulterous intent, make empty promises, turn from the holy commandments.

19.  Teachings and conduct of teachers of righteousness

20.  Acknowledge and honor the Lord, not greedy for unjust gain, truthful, self-controlled, humble, gentle in speech, pure, preach faithfully from God’s word and acting accordingly.


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