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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

SPOTS & BLEMISHES

2 Peter 2:12-14 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; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the daytime. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you: Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children.

The first chapter of this second epistle of Peter is devoted to instruction on how to become, grow into, and remain a strong Christian, firmly grounded in the will of God. He declares that the Holy Scriptures, in which we are to place our trust, does not come from the will of man. It is the word of God, given to us by inspiration, through holy men ...as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pet. 1:21). These were the true prophets of God. The second chapter, in its entirety, is a lengthy warning for Christians to beware of, avoid, and condemn false prophets, who teach human doctrines that are contrary to the will of God. In the lesson text, Peter continues to speak against these false teachers. Considering the length of his warning and the sternness of his message, we all should realize the serious affect false teachers have on the world, in general, but especially on the Christian family of God; the members of the church of Christ.

Peter paints a vivid picture of false teachers, depicting them as evil, wicked, depraved individuals, driven by covetousness to deceive listeners in order to satisfy personal, selfish desires. Surely, Peter wants all Christians to see, in their mind's eye, the corrupt nature of false teachers, and to recognize the vicious, destructive practices used to beguile audiences into supporting and following them. Notice, in the lesson text, how graphically Peter described them to Christians at the time of his writing, which is just as true today as it was at its initial writing. It's not a pretty picture!

False teachers are compared to brute beasts. The natural instinct of animals is to satisfy their appetites, and their determination to do so seems to have no restraint. Without control, they search hungrily for things that will gratify their selfish motives. They have total disregard for the needs of other animals, including those of their own species, and even their immediate animal family. God provided animals for the benefit of mankind. If they become aggressively vicious and destructive to the human race, they should be captured and destroyed. This description of brute beasts is also appropriate for false teachers. They too, are driven by covetousness to satisfy their own human desires. Elders of the body of Christ, as good shepherds, should protect their flocks from false teachers, exposing them and their selfish motives. Godly preachers and teachers should continually warn Christians of false teachers that corrupt, misquote, and misapply God's word in order to deceive mankind and gain their following.

Peter says this of false teachers:spots they are and blemishes. In his first epistle to Christians, Peter described Jesus Christ as the perfect sacrifice, comparing His precious blood to that of the perfect sacrifice under the Law of Moses - a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Pet. 1:19). Sacrificial lambs, to be perfect, were not to be diseased in any way or have any physical disfigurement. Imperfect sacrifices were defilements, and were not acceptable to God. Peter tells us that neither are false teachers acceptable to God. While in your presence, that is, while they feast with you, they bring deceiving messages that teach a doctrine contrary to God's Holy Word. Like unfit sacrificial lambs, false teachers are spots ...and blemishes.

False teachers are also cursed children - children having no inheritance from their father. They are cursed because the focus of their lives is toward self-gratification, with total disregard for the self-sacrificing love of God, and the unselfish, charitable love for our neighbors. They are cursed children because they cannot, or will not, cease from deceiving, or beguiling unstable souls. They have exercised, or continued in teaching error through covetous practices, until deception of others has become their way of life. They are oblivious to the fact that their actions, in the eyes of God, are the ways leading to eternal death, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption (Vs. 12).

Reader, beware of false teachers. They are brute beasts; cursed children. They are spots and blemishes.