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The Nature of the Brute

The Nature of the Brute

Words of Faith 3-13-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Peter 2

    [13] They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. [14] With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed--an accursed brood! [15] They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. [16] But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

 

         Peter continued to describe the false teachers and the brutish, animalistic nature of their rebellion.  These teachers were deceitful, but they would be caught in their own webs. They will be paid back with harm "being damaged" as a wage for the injustice they have done.

       Though the false teachers tried to pass themselves off as spiritual leaders possessing a special level of knowledge, they did not even hide their orgies under the cover of darkness but would carouse in broad daylight while reveling in their pleasures.  And they did all this while obviously joining in the agape feasts-- the communion fellowship of the church!  They were blots and blemishes like a stain on a clean cloth.  They marred the Lord's Supper by their very presence. This was one of the injustices they did to others.

       The problem was that these false teachers had become chronic sinners.  Today, we might even talk about addiction.  They had lost any sense of moral compass.  Had there been any doubt up to this point about the salvation of these false teachers, Peter closed the door by indicating they were habitual sinners, their eyes consistently looking toward sinning. "Having eyes full of an adulteress" or thinking only of adultery when they see women, they never stop sinning. 

       Peter was not saying that these teachers were beyond the reach of God, but they had so given themselves to "unceasing sin" that their lives were diametrically opposed to those changes that mark a person who is born of God (1 John 3:9).  Habitual sinning does not mark one who is born of God.  Their deceit was aimed at seducing "baiting or enticing" the unwary or unsteadfast.  They had become specialists in greed, "having a heart exercised in greed.”

       Like an athlete, these specialists would exercise or "work out" in the practice of covetousness, sharpening their greedy skills. Yet they never have enough. No wonder Peter called them an accursed brood-- literally "children of a curse" a Hebraism denoting certain destruction from the hand of God.

       Peter used an example from the Old Testament to say that these false prophets were like animals, and their prototype, Balaam son of Beor, was reproved by an animal (Num. 22:28, 30).  Balaam had a mercenary mentality and urged the Moabites to trick Israelite men into illicit relationships with Moabite women to introduce immorality into the camp.  The donkey spoke, stopping the prophet in his madness. A mere donkey, a dumb animal, was smarter than Balaam!

       These false teachers, like Balaam, had sinned so long and so intensely that their sin had become a form of insanity. Today many people have so thoroughly given themselves over to avarice and debauchery that their lifestyles are spiritually insane. Money and sex (even in the name of religion) continue to bring spiritual ruin to many people. This is "the error of Balaam" (Jude 11), his way which is diverse from the straight way.

      We don't have to think too long and hard to recall those leaders who have been so given over to the love of money or illicit sex that they operated in a sort of spiritual insanity that no one could understand.  Is there redemption from this?  Of course, there is.  The question is how one gets back to God after having drifted so far.    

       Whenever such tragedies in spiritual leadership are revealed, we are left asking how this could happen.  It seems clear that no one sets out intentionally toward such a spiritual disaster.  It is the choice to feed our sin nature rather than surrender to the Spirit that leads us down the seductive path of destruction.

        How are we protected from this?  It is the connected day to day relationship with Jesus that keeps us on the path and protects us from the false teachers.

 

         Lord Jesus, make my path straight.  Reveal any area of rebellion in my life that You want to deal within me.  Keep my walk pure and close to You.  Give me the word of correction even when there is a slight variance from Your intended path.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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