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2 Peter 2:18
18 For [gar] when they speak [phtheggomai] great swelling [huperogkos]
words of vanity [mataiotes], they allure [deleazo] through [en] the lusts [epithumia] of the flesh [sarx],
through much wantonness [aselgeia], those that
were clean [ontos] escaped [apopheugo] from them who live [anastrepho] in [en] error [plane]. KJV-Interlinear
18 For speaking out arrogant
words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely
escape from the ones who live in error, NASB
The word for swelling, huperogkos,
means great magnitude, grand, superb, sublime, inflated, exaggerated, tumid
(swollen or disproportionate), pompous, pretentious.
These are words that
sound good to the hearer, but are in fact deceitful and lies.They are intended to gain the hearers trust
They speak to the
things that the hearer wants to hear.They speak in ambiguous phrases that can be interpreted into any meaning
that the hearer wants.
They hit home to those
who are in turmoil and therefore susceptible to their enticements.
An example from
history.Back in the 1920 s, Hitler did
not gain an audience because Germany was in a state of recovery after World War
I.Hitler was in fact an ignored voice.But then world events took a turn for the
The economy in the
United States hit a snag and the bottom fell out in 1929 through 1932.This hardship dominoed throughout the rest of
the world.Germany was hit hard since it
had not fully recovered.And unemployment
skyrocketed.Hitler now had a listening
audience, beginning in the early 1930 s.He spoke eloquent and passionate words and the masses followed to their
People do not have to
be caught up in a massive worldwide depression, hard times can come in all
shapes and sizes. Even in prosperous times, the arrogance of people can turn
them toward promising but empty words.
Now Peters point here
is not the words per se, but the threat they have for hearers who lack
Those who are new to
doctrine are the ones that are at risk.They barely escape, as Peter puts it.
When you advance in
your spiritual life, doctrine serves as a protection, a wall of fire, as it
were, for the believer, against the threats of the world.
The wall of fire symbol
came from the time of the Exodus when the Israelites were trapped, with their backs
to the Red Sea, by the advancing Egyptian army.God put down a wall of fire, an impenetrable wall through which nothing
and no one could penetrate.
Pharaoh should have got
that final message, just as Balaam s talking donkey should have given him a
clue as to what the real truth of life was.
However, people who
lack doctrine, lack orientation to truth, and certainly they lack orientation
to life.They cannot read the signs of
the times.They cannot interpret the
signs of their own actions.
Those who live in error,
are all the world, that would cause you to stray away from your spiritual life.
God has a plan for your
life.That plan is to make you
independent from the chains of this world, to relieve you from the crutches
placed upon you by the world, to cut away the chains of this world that load
the heavy burdens for life upon you.
The world has a plan
for your life. That plan is to impress you with the enticements of your own
desires (fleshy desires), which run the entire range of lascivious lusts to ascetic
philosophies. The world is a term that represents the policies of Satan.Satan s policies are all evil.Evil is the policy of everything that is
opposite truth, and therefore consists of only lies.The world s policies are to make sure you
fail, by means of your own choices of the enticements from the world.
Unbelievers are at risk
because they lack truth.Believers just
starting out, are at great risk, because they do not yet have the spiritual muscle
with which to fight off the temptations of the world.
There is the world and
all of its enticements and propaganda on the one hand just hammering you day in
and day out, and on the other hand there is doctrine which is only available to
those who seek it out, if you care to seek it out.
The enticements of the
world include everything from diet enticements, to social enticements, to
political enticements, to do-gooder enticements, to entertainment enticements,
to any topic you can think of.And all
of these make up the realm of fleshy desires, personal opinion, public opinion,
and so forth.
Without doctrine, you
can see why people can be overwhelmed by life.
But with doctrine, and
you can only experience this when you have grown up a bit in your spiritual
life, but with doctrine you can cut through all of the rhetoric and fog and
deceptions of life.You are more apt to
be on your guard, more apt to be alert, more apt to discern and understand the
risks that life really pushes on you, and avoid them all.
Without doctrine, of
course all of this seems like nonsense, and all to do about nothing.And that attitude will continue so long as
life coasts along without too many bumps.But when the bumps do finally occur, then of course it is someone else's
One thing that you
really need to learn is that God is the sovereign of this universe, Psa.
Nothing happens in life
or in history that God does not allow to happen.That does not mean that He condones events,
but that He simply allows man to make his choices and allows man to fall on his
face from time to time.
There is no one greater
than God, Psa. 82:6, 24:10.
God gives to you all
that you have and can take it all away in an instant, 1 Sam 2:6-7.
The nations are like a
speck of dust, Isa. 40:15.What does
that make you?
The plans of man are no
better than foolishness, and the person who ignores God, Christ, doctrine, and
truth is the most foolish of all.
Don t let that be you.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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