Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 55
II Peter 1:1 – 2:8 – Part 2
Let’s start where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be II Peter chapter 2 and verse 3. I think most of you probably realize that II Peter chapter 2 and the little book of Jude are almost word-for-word, so when we get to Jude we’ll probably be repeating a lot of this stuff. But it bears repeating as it is so apropos for the day in which we live, where false teaching is just coming in like a flood.
And of course, the Internet doesn’t help because you can get almost anything you want off the Internet. I think this is what’s happened to a lot of our preachers, bless their hearts. Instead of studying and preparing their sermon, they’re just taking the easy way out and clicking on the Internet. Well, that’s a sad commentary, but if you learn something wrong, then you’re going to pass it on wrong!
All right, it was no different back here when Peter and Paul were writing. As I’ve showed in the last half-hour, Paul complained in Timothy that everybody in Asia Minor had already turned against him. Why? Because the false teachers came in and came across with something that appealed to the flesh. All right, now Peter is up against the same thing with his Jewish believers; that, even among them, there would come these false teachers with their pernicious ways and who speak evil of the truth. Now verse 3.
II Peter 2:3a
“And through covetousness…” In other words, again like we said in our closing moments in the last program, coveting is the beginning of everything. I’ve always made the statement and I still say it, “You cannot break one of the Ten Commandments without coveting first.” Because the foundation of all sin is coveting. Now verse 3 again.
II Peter 2:3a
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:….” Now when you think of merchandise what do you think of? Money! So what are they really after? They’re after your material things. They’re after your money. And they’ll do it with their false teaching. They’ll cash in on you. That’s a good way of putting it, isn’t it? They’ll just cash in on you.
II Peter 2:3b
“…whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” In other words, their eternal doom is awaiting them. Evidently they must never think of it, but it is. Their eternal doom is waiting for them. Now verse 4. Here are Peter’s reasons for saying what he said. God hasn’t changed. God still operates the way He always has. And when He gets to a point where He can take it no more, He drops His wrath and judgment. And it’s going to happen again. The world is getting ripe for a new judgment which, of course, we think will be the seven years of Tribulation. The world is getting ripe for it. Every day these false teachers completely undermine the truth; every day the fleshpots of this world are capitalizing on the human weaknesses; and someday soon God’s wrath is going to fall.
II Peter 2:4
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” In other words, that started way back, I think, between verse 1 and verse 2 of Genesis. Which, in verse 1, you have the perfect creation. Let’s go back and look at it. My it’s been a long time since we’ve taught anything from Genesis, hasn’t it? Maybe it’s about time we refresh peoples’ memories.
Genesis chapter 1. I know that probably 50% of Christendom will disagree with me, but that’s their privilege. That doesn’t bother me a bit. I’ve always said I’m going to teach it the way I feel the Lord has opened it up to me. And I’m certainly not going to lead anybody into a lost eternity because of it.
“In the beginning (before anything ever appeared) God created the heaven and the earth.” Now the God of this Book is not a God that does anything less than perfect, is He? He makes it perfect and I think the Hebrew word “create” here, out of nothing, indicated something perfect. Without a flaw. And then all of a sudden in verse 2 something has happened because, all of a sudden, it’s not a perfect earth. In fact I call it a mess. It’s a swamp. It’s covered with water.
“And the earth was without form, and (what?) void; (it was of no use) and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In other words, the earth was covered with water. The sun and the moon and the stars had been blotted out. Everything was back into total darkness. Well, what in the world happened? Well again, I didn’t plan to do this but, I guess, maybe it’s for a reason. This is what I think happened after that beautiful, beautiful creation of verse 1. My it’s been about 13 years since we taught Genesis on television – and the last time, we taught this. All right, Ezekiel 28:13 where God is speaking through the prophet to an individual, and He says:
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;.…” Now I always have to stop when I teach some of these things. How many personalities were in the Garden of Eden, not counting God Himself? Three. Adam, Eve and Satan. Okay, so, whoever God is talking to, it’s one of those three. “Thou hast been in Eden….”
“…every precious stone was thy covering, (and then He names them) the sardius, topaz, and the diamond. the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” So we know that we’re not talking about a person of the Godhead, we’re talking about a created individual. Now verse 14 it tells us who it is.
“Thou art the anointed cherub (an angel) that covereth; (or ruleth is a better word in the Hebrew here. Here we have an angel who was ruling and reigning. And God says,) and I have set thee so: (I’ve put you in this place of authority) thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;….” Now remember a mountain in the Old Testament is a ‘kingdom.’ Now there are no human beings yet, as Adam and Eve weren’t on the scene yet when this angel was ruling – it was an angelic kingdom.
“…thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” Those gemstones up there in verse 13, the diamond and so forth. Now verse 15.
“Thou wast (past tense) perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, (What’s the next word?) till (for a period of time this angel was perfect, he was sinless. But there came a time) iniquity was found in thee.” Now, God will not stand iniquity without doing something about it – in angels any more than humans. All right, now you have to come back to Isaiah chapter 14 to find out who this angel was, and what his sin was. He’s named in verse 12. Transcribers note: And it’s the only place his name appears in Scripture, and normally only in the KING JAMES – which I think means he’s removed it from the other translations, as it does show him in a bad light.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (because of his angelic position as the ruler over that angelic kingdom) how art thou cut down to the ground.(why? Because of iniquity) which didst weaken the nations!” So we know that we’re talking about Lucifer, whom we know as Satan, the Devil. Now verse 13; here’s the past that led up to his fall.
“For thou hast said in thine heart, (he becomes an egotist. And this ruling angel over an earthly glorious gemstone-filled kingdom of angels says) I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, (which is normally the position of God in Scripture) in the sides of the north: 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (now he epitomizes all of his dreams with this statement) I will be like the most High.” What’s he trying to do? Usurp the place of God. And what does God say? “Oh, no you don’t!” And so what did He do? He cast him down. Satan’s first casting out is when he first fell in this rebellion. But, now, come back with me all the way to Revelation and we’ll see what Peter’s talking about; these angels that fell, well, what are they and who are they?
We pick them up now in Revelation chapter 12 verse 4, where in his rebellion in assuming to take over the throneroom of God, evidently one-third of the angels over whom he was ruling followed him in the rebellion. And here in Revelation we pick them up.
“And his tail (that is the serpent’s, the dragon’s, Satan as he’s symbolized in Scripture) drew the third part of the stars of heaven, (now the stars here are the angels) and did cast them to the earth: (and the rest of the verse skips ahead many years) and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (and that was at Bethlehem)
All right, now then if you’ll just back up a couple of pages to the little book of Jude again, right in front of Revelation, we pick up these same fallen angels in verse 6. Now you can put a whole scenario together, hopefully. Here we have this ruling angel over this glorious earthly kingdom, which was filled with the gemstones of fire – beauty beyond description. And he had a whole population of angels over which he ruled. But, he got proud and lifted up and attempted to usurp God’s kingdom, throne and rule; and evidently one-third of these angels consorted with him. All right now, verse 6 in Jude.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, (in other words, as ruling or being under Lucifer’s rule on that original glorious planet) but left their own habitation, (in other words, they attempted to follow Lucifer in his rebellion) he (God) hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
All right, now then, just back up a few pages to II Peter and maybe this will make some sense. II Peter chapter 2 now verse 4:
II Peter 2:4
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, (who rebelled against God’s authority and attempted to follow Lucifer) but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” In perfect accord with Jude and Revelation, see? All right, now we come to the next event that Peter can relate to; verse 5, when again the mass of humanity rebelled against the God of creation and, again, in their wickedness, God had to move in with a judgment.
II Peter 2:5a
“And spared not the old world, (destroyed it with a flood) but saved Noah the eighth person,….” This is always mind-boggling to me. Now you want to realize there could have very easily been four or more billion people at the time of the flood. Four billion is the number I’ve used over the years, because I had a friend back in the moon-space-days who has access to a computer and he and a friend of his, just for common interest, one day started out with two people (like Adam and Eve and their offspring), and remembering they lived for eight – nine hundred years.
People back then had tremendous health and vigor, and putting all those things into the mix, my friend said, you could easily come up with four billion people in that 1,600 years from Adam to the flood. And to me, it’s only reasonable that there were at least four billion people. And out of four billion, how many were saved? Eight. Now that’s a pretty small number. It’s frightening isn’t it?
And what did the Lord say? “Narrow is the way and few there be that find it, but broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many go in thereat.” That’s the way it’s always been.Mankind always tries to do things his way, rather than God’s way.
II Peter 2:5b
“…(Noah) a preacher of righteousness,.…” It wasn’t that the people didn’t have a chance. Noah preached for 120 years. For 120 years, Noah proclaimed to that generation (who I feel had as much technology as we do, and I’ve got reason for thinking that, so it wasn’t that he was limited because of communications. And so he let that whole generation know) that judgment was coming. And then, as I’ve pointed out when I taught this years and years ago, when the Ark was finished and everything was on board and God was ready to release the floodwaters from beneath and above, He gave them how much time? Seven more days. The gangplank stayed down from the Ark to the ground for seven days. For what purpose? That if anybody would wake up and realize that old Noah must be right, they could have gone on board. They could have – the opportunity was there. Seven days. I call it seven days of Grace. How many accepted it? Not a one!
In fact I made reference here several programs back, a book that I read about the time that I was teaching all this years back, by a Lutheran theologian out of – well, his book comes out of Concordia Publishing, and I’m sure quite a few of my listeners at the time ordered the book. But he made this analogy, that while Noah was building the Ark for the 120 years, as huge as that thing was, he must have had some extra hired help, as we’d call it – employees – to help in the building of the Ark. And they must have heard the old man preach. They must have heard him tell that a flood was coming and that’s what this box was getting ready for and it would be the salvation for anybody and anything that would come in.But when the box was finished and the animals were all on board; Noah’s family was on board; everything was ready for the deluge, but God says seven more days.
And then he made this observation, and isn’t this exactly the way it is today? People are busy working in the church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School lessons and so forth: and yet when eternity comes, they’re going to miss it. It’s frightening isn’t it? But true. There’s going to be multitudes as in Noah’s day. And why are they going to miss heaven? Because they have refused to believe Paul’s beautiful Gospel of Salvation that we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4 that he shared with you and I here in this Church Age. People are trying to get to Heaven every way except the right way!
All right and so, the flood came and only eight survived it out of, I guess, about four billion people. All right, verse 6, and we come up through history here. Now we’re past the flood a little over 400 years, and we’re at Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham and Lot were the ones that divided the land and Lot took Sodom remember? All right, so verse 6:
II Peter 2:6
“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, (utterly destroyed them) making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly;” (as the Sodomites did). You see what the world is heading for? The same kind of a judgment. Oh it’s coming. People think I’m kidding when I say that almost the whole human race is going to disappear by the time the Tribulation ends, all six – seven billion of the human race is going to go because it’s got to be made ready for His glorious kingdom, and there can be nothing sinful or wicked in that kingdom. And so there’s the example. And that’s why Peter is using it. Even as God destroyed the iniquity before the flood, even as He destroyed the iniquity in Sodom and Gomorrah – and we all know what that was – and He condemned them with an overthrow and a total destruction because of their ungodly lifestyle.
Now we don’t know how big Sodom and Gomorrah were but I’m going to guess 18 or 20 thousand, because if I remember right, our guide told us when we were in Jericho that Jericho was a city of about 25 or 30 thousand and no doubt Sodom and Gomorrah were probably about the same. I’m guessing. But, out of however many thousand inhabitants were in Sodom and Gomorrah, how many escaped? One. Well, I know the two daughters, but nevertheless, for all practical purposes, spiritually speaking, Lot was the only “just” one.
II Peter 2:7
“And delivered just (righteous) Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:” That’s what the word ‘just’ means here; it doesn’t mean ‘only,’ it means the ‘righteous’ man, Lot. “Even though he was vexed with the filthy manner of living of the wicked.” That’s what they called it then and that’s what I call it today. It is a filthy manner of living.
II Peter 2:8
“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” Lot knew that all this that was going on was utterly wrong but, because of his position, because of his coveting materialism (because you want to remember Sodom and Gomorrah were prosperous. Sodom and Gomorrah had it made. To see that, let’s go to Ezekiel 16:49. Now this was Sodom and Gomorrah, And this is what hooked Lot. He wasn’t content to just be eking out an existence with Abraham and his flocks up there in the mountains), Lot got covetous.
And this is what makes me think that the world will maintain a certain level of prosperity until the Lord returns because the scenario was the same before the flood. The Lord Himself said it in Luke, that at the time of Noah what did they do? They married, and they gave in marriage. They built and they bought and they sold. It was a prospering economy. Well, look what Sodom and Gomorrah were when they were destroyed.
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” In other words, they were selfish. They were nothing but “me first.”
“And they were haughty, (proud – now we’re talking about the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah just before they’re destroyed.) and committed abomination before me: therefore (God says) I took them away as I saw good.” That was Sodom and Gomorrah; prosperous, materialistic. They had everything. They weren’t wanting for anything. And when you have an abundance of idleness, what does that speak of? Prosperity. Look at Rome before they fell. Why in the world did Rome build all the coliseums throughout the empire? To keep idle people occupied because, in their wealth, they didn’t have to work. They had so much wealth that all they did was let the conquered slaves do the everyday labor, and the end result, of course, was Rome imploded. Now back to II Peter. Let’s read verse 8 again, and we’ll be through.
II Peter 2:8
“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, [in the midst of all of their wickedness as well as their material prosperity] in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” Now what does that tell you? The man was a believer. He never lost that. But he became materialistic in his thinking – he left Abraham and his flocks and his herds to come down to materialistic, prosperous Sodom and Gomorrah; and as a result “he vexed himself day after day.”