2 Peter 2:12 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:

13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

MEMORY VERSE: For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. —2 Peter 2:20

CENTRAL THOUGHT: The sad account in history is that all down through the ages there have been souls who have once believed in Jesus Christ, but have been led away from the faith by the influence of the wicked and lustful world around them.


2 Peter 2:12, “natural brute beasts”: No higher in true godliness than the animals. “taken”: Caught in the traps of sin and ungodliness.

Ver. 13, “riot in the day time”: Transgress God’s word with no regard to His Light. “blemishes”: Noticeable marks of ungodly behavior. “sporting”: Reveling and showing off.

Ver. 14, “eyes full of adultery”: Literally, “eyes of an adultress.” Seeking to seduce and snare. “cannot cease from sin”: Incessant; not abandoning or giving up sin. “beguiling unstable souls”: Enticing ignorant, unbalanced people. “exercised with covetous practices”: They have allowed their heart to be drawn to worldly riches. “cursed children”: Souls under God’s curse of displeasure.

Ver. 15, “the way of Balaam”: This is spoken of in Numbers chapters 22-24. Balaam was supposed to be a man of God, but yielded to the request of God’s enemies to come and curse Israel because of their offer for financial gain. Such is the way of many people down through the ages who fell victim to the alluring trap of material wealth. Balaam’s way, or counsel, was for the Moabites to entice the Israelite young men with beautiful women, that they might commit idolatry.

Ver. 17, “mist of darkness”: The gloom of eternal damnation.

Ver. 18, “wantonness”: Fully controlled by fleshly lusts.

Ver. 22 “the dog is turned to his own vomit again”: This is a quotation from Proverbs 26:11.


Our lesson today is the continuation of Peter’s report of ungodly and unfaithful people who were bringing in heresies and false doctrines among the Christian congregations. He was fearful and very grieved of the degrading influence of these false teachers. He labels them as “natural brute beasts,” declaring that their end would be destruction, and warning everyone of this woeful danger. They shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, he stated. They are bold and proud, “sporting” themselves with no fear nor shame. Oh, the awful condition that their covetous practices were bringing about! He spoke about the people who take heed to these false preachers as being like Balaam of old. Balaam “loved the wages of unrighteousness,” being influenced by financial gain promised him if he would support the cause against the people of Israel who were trying to follow God’s leadings. Peter spoke of how Balaam was rebuked for his iniquity by his donkey, and how the donkey spoke with a man’s voice against him. Later, at Balaam’s counsel, the Moabites and Midianites sent their young women to lure the young men of Israel into idolatry. What a terrible and destructive way in which the enemy of our souls sets his traps and seeks to deceive and lead people away from the truth of the gospel!

If such terrible conditions and influences against the true way of the Lord were exercised back then in Peter’s time, how much more are they still working today! Oh, how we need to be on our guard and be diligent to hold fast to the true, holy, faithful, and godly teachings of the Word of God in our time! Holiness, freedom and victory over the world, sin, and transgression of God’s Word; and humble, loving, kind, meek, and obedient attitudes of heart and life—we must be faithful and true to God in these things if we purpose and desire to be accounted worthy to attain to eternal life and the resurrection of the dead!

–Bro. Leslie Busbee


1. What did Peter label these false teachers?

2. What will be their final end if they do not reform?

3. What are some of the false doctrines that we have in our day?

4. How does the love of money and the lure of fleshly appetites affect people?

5. What measures can we take to not be deceived by false doctrine?


In our day we have encountered many false doctrines and beliefs generated by people who have no vision of what is good and acceptable with our Creator. One of the greatest of these wrong conceptions of what the Bible teaches is the teaching that we cannot live free from sin. They teach that we have to confess our sins daily, and that we cannot live a holy and righteous life, free from sin and ungodliness. Then there is the teaching that we must speak in other tongues as evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost. It is also taught and believed that a man or woman can marry someone else after they are separated from their first husband or wife. It is taught that you must go and join the church of your choice to be what God wants you to be. Then there is the teaching that women can cut off their hair (which is given them for a covering), wear clothes that reveal parts of the body, and that they can wear rings, necklaces, and other ornaments of pride. Oh, how sad that the church world is so stained with false teachings and worldly adornment! How faithful we need to be to seek the Lord in earnest prayer to be led by His Word and the Holy Spirit, and not the ideas and opinions of fleshly minds and hearts!

God wants our inner man adorned with the “ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, not the outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel [fine clothing]” 1 Peter 3:3, 4. Also, 1 Timothy 2:9,10 teaches “that women adorn themselves in modest [decent, proper] apparel with shamefacedness [reverence, bashfulness] and sobriety [moderation, self- control, soundness of mind] and not with broided [elaborate and embellished] hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” Eph. 5:3,4 says, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints [holy people]; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting [vulgar, coarse, crude joking], which are not convenient [fitting or proper]: but rather giving of thanks.” He goes on to say in verse 5, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” May God help us!

—Bro. Leslie Busbee


The heresy against which the apostle warned the people was no doubt the Gnostic philosophy, an ancient pagan-turned-Christian belief system that embraced, among other unbiblical teachings, a dualism between spirit and matter, a “salvation” through a higher, deeper knowledge of God, and a teaching that anything done in the body, even sin, has no meaning, because life exists only in the spirit realm.

As Peter stated, they believed and taught that Jesus did not come to die for our sins, but was a human Messiah, an example for how we should think and believe. (“…denying the Lord that bought them…” II Pe- ter 2:1)

Peter describes them as following the way, or doctrine, of Balaam, which, as described by Jesus, is “to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication” (Revelation 2:14).”

The doctrine of a sect of the Gnostics, the Nicolaitans, is also condemned by Jesus, Who said He “hated” this doctrine. (Rev. 2:15).

Do these ancient heresies exist today? Yes, and more widely than you might think. The doctrine that just “believing” is sufficient, and that we are no longer required to be “doers of the Word”; that it doesn’t really matter what you do in the body, you are “under grace”—is just a modern form of the Gnostic/Nicolaitan doctrine, which was comfortable and fine with mixing occultic paganism, sexual immorality, and idolatry with “Christianity”.

Modern Gnostics believe in the power of prayer and in an all-loving, all-merciful and benevolent God, who loves unconditionally and equally; however, they also believe in finding their own truth, and don’t believe in hell or sin.

It’s the mixture of beliefs that is so deceptive; hard to put your finger on it, but there it is, a heretical strand in a bundle of “good” teachings. Let us beware.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck