7/8/19

"THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER" The Depravity Of False Teachers (2:10-17) by Mark Copeland


"THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER"

The Depravity Of False Teachers (2:10-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. In his discourse against "false teachers", Peter has written 
   strongly and harshly against these individuals...
   a. They will bring in "destructive heresies", and bring on 
      themselves and those who follow them "destruction" - 2Pe 2:1-3
   b. Their doom is certain, for God knows how "to reserve the unjust 
      under punishment for the day of judgment", as illustrated by the 
      examples in 2Pe 2:4-9

2. Why such strong words?  Is Peter justified in writing so harshly 
   against these "false teachers"?

3. The answer is "yes", for by inspiration Peter knows the true extent 
   to which these depraved individuals have fallen
   a. Again, these "false teachers" are not just people who in their 
      ignorance are guilty of teaching error
   b. Rather, they are very much aware of their deceptions and what 
      they are doing!

[In our text for this lesson, we learn from Peter just how serious is 
"The Depravity Of False Teachers".  For example..]

I. THEY "REVILE" AGAINST THOSE IN AUTHORITY (10-12)

   A. NOTICE THEIR CHARACTER...
      1. They "walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness"- 10
      2. They are "presumptuous, self-willed" - 10
      3. By so walking after the flesh, they became little more than 
         "natural brute beasts" - 12

   B. IN THIS CONDITION...
      1. They "despise authority" - 10
         a. They do not appreciate the principles of authority and 
            submission - cf. 1Pe 2:13-17
         b. They feel no need to submit to those over them
      2. They "are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries" - 10
         a. The word for "dignitaries" is doxa {dox'-ah} and literally 
            means "glories"
         b. It can refer to human dignitaries such as church or civic 
            leaders, but also celestial beings (such as good and 
            fallen angels)
         c. The context of verse 11 and the parallel passage in Jude 8-9
            suggests that fallen angels (those mentioned in 2Pe 2:4) 
            may be the "dignitaries" spoken of here
         d. Thus in some way these individuals would speak derogatorily
            of "fallen angels", something even angels "greater in power
            and might" would not do!
      3. They "speak evil of the things they do not understand" - 12
         a. Once again Peter's charge is that they "speak evil"
         b. The charge appears to be in the way they speak, even of 
            fallen angels...
            1) With an attitude of despite towards those in authority
            2) When they really are not in a position to know the whole
               situation
         c. With such arrogance and evil speaking, they corrupt 
            themselves! - Jude 10

[If the Scriptures condemn those who speak evil of "fallen angels", 
what does that say of those who speak evil of "fallen individuals", 
whether they be church or civic leaders?  May Peter's words encourage 
us to be very careful about such things.

The depravity of these "false teachers" is seen further as we consider 
how...]

II. THEY "REVEL" WITH GREAT PLEASURE (13-14)

   A. THEY LOVE TO "CAROUSE"...
      1. The word "carouse" (or "revel", the KJV uses "riot" and 
         "sporting") refers to extreme indulgence in sensual pleasures; 
          dissipation
      2. They count it pleasure to "carouse in the daytime" - 13
         a. This is not to suggest that it is all right to carouse at night
         b. But just demonstrates how depraved these individuals are!
      3. Like "spots and blemishes", they carouse in their deceptions
         "while they feast with you" - 13
         a. They take advantage of gatherings with Christians
         b. This they do with skillful deception

   B. FOR THEY HAVE CORRUPTED "EYES" AND "HEART"...
      1. Their eyes are "full of adultery" (cf. Mt 5:28) - 14
         a. "that cannot cease from sin" (this speaks of their depravity)
         b. "...beguiling unstable souls" (taking advantage of the immature)
      2. Their heart is "trained in covetous practices" - 14
         a. They are skilled in how to get what they want
         b. And what they want all pertains to the flesh! (as implied 
            by the term "adultery")

[In such depravity they have truly become "accursed children" (14).

That they are even described as "accursed children" is another 
indication that these "false teachers" were once true Christians  - cf.
"denying the Lord who bought them" (1) and "after they have escaped 
the pollutions of the world..." (20)

Another such indication is seen as we consider our last point 
concerning the depravity of these false teachers...]

III. THEY "REVOLT" AGAINST THE RIGHT WAY (15-16)

   A. "THEY HAVE FORSAKEN THE RIGHT WAY AND GONE ASTRAY"
      1. It is hard to forsake what you never had, or to go astray if 
         you were never in the right way
      2. Therefore this phrase of Peter...
         a. Lends support to the idea that these "false teachers" were 
            erring Christians
         b. Sadly adds to the description of how far one can fall from 
            the Lord

   B. "FOLLOWING THE WAY OF BALAAM..."
      1. Like the prophet Balaam, they were swayed by the 
         "wages of unrighteousness"
      2. Here Peter is evidently making a play on words, for he used 
         the same phrase earlier in a totally different way
         a. In verse 13, the "wages of unrighteousness" refers to the
            eternal compensation one receives for their sins (condemnation)
         b. In verse 15, the "wages of unrighteousness" refers to the
            momentary compensation one receives for their sins (money, 
            fulfillment of fleshly desires)
      3. But remember that Balaam was rebuked and restrained by a dumb 
         donkey who spoke - Num 22:22-35
      4. How much more should we take heed when it is the voice of an 
         inspired apostle (Peter) who seeks to rebuke and restrain the 
         madness of "false teachers"!

CONCLUSION (17)

1. In verse 17, we are given two illustrations that describe the 
   depravity of these false teachers...
   a. They are "wells without water"
   b. They are "clouds carried by a tempest"
   -- Both illustrations describe things which promise much (i.e., 
      water), but deliver nothing!

2. So it is with these "false teachers", who while promising much, are 
   so depraved themselves that there is only one thing awaiting them...
   a. "to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved forever"
   b. I.e., the same judgment given to the angels who sinned 
       - cf. 2 Pe 2:4
   -- How ironic, that these individuals who were so bold to revile 
      fallen angels, will suffer the same punishment!

3. Peter will have more to say about these false teachers in the final 
   section of this chapter, especially with regards to their
   "deceptions" and how they fail to deliver what they promise

In the meantime, remember that it is not sufficient to just "beware" of
false teachers, we must also being "growing" in the grace and knowledge
of Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:17-18).  Is this the case with you...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

eXTReMe Tracker 

The Omniscience of God by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1394


The Omniscience of God

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


God is the only One Who possesses limitless knowledge. The Illustrated Oxford Dictionary defines “omniscience” as “knowing everything,” and the Bible certainly ascribes omniscience to God (Psalm 139:1-4; cf. Woods, 1988, p. 34). Consider a sample of what the Bible reveals about God’s omniscience: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). “Can anyone teach God knowledge, since He judges those on high?” (Job 21:22, emp. added). Consider a few of the implications of God’s omniscience.
God knows every past action. At times, humans struggle to interpret history because we often lack complete historical information. The eternal God, Who had no beginning, has no problems seeing clearly through the mists of time, for history is ever before Him (Isaiah 57:15). God emphasized this when He told Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I Am Who I Am.” John 8:58 reads: “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.’ ” In the Day of Judgment, we will be judged based on God’s complete knowledge of our history (see Revelation 20:12). God cannot be taught anything about the past (Isaiah 40:14).
God knows every present action. Psalm 33:13-15 reads: “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” Despite the uniqueness of each person, God understands everyone individually, and knows everyone personally (see Matthew 10:29-30). God even knows everything that is done privately (Matthew 6:4), so no one can hide from God (see Kizer, 2001, p. 7). God cannot be taught anything about the present (Matthew 28:20; 1 Corinthians 4:5).
God knows every future action. The fact that God gave prophets the capability to predict accurately very specific events in the distant future is one of the great evidences for the inspiration of the Bible (Thompson, 1999, p. 19). God has emphasized repeatedly that He knows the future, perhaps never more emphatically than when Jesus Himself prophesied (see Matthew 24:1-51; Mark 8:31; John 2:19-22). The fact that God knows the future does not imply that humans somehow lose freedom of choice. Just because God knows that something will happen, does not mean that He causes it (see Bales, 1974, p. 49). God cannot be taught anything about the future (Acts 17:31; John 14:3).
God knows every human thought. King David addressed his son: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9). Psalm 94:9-10 reads: “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct, He who teaches man knowledge?” God cannot be taught anything about the content of human intellect (Acts 15:8).
God knows what humans need. Ecclesiastes 2:26 reads: “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight….” Noah of old would have perished in the Flood had God not given him a way of escape. The Israelites could not have conquered Canaan without divine guidance and protection. God has promised that He will provide for the physical needs of those who serve Him (Matthew 6:24-34). Most important, God has identified the problem of sin and death and provided the only possible solution—the blood of His Son (1 Peter 1:18-19).
God knows what is right and wrong, because He defines morality and truth—His Word is the standard for righteous judgment. Hannah wanted desperately to have a child, but she was unable to do so. In her fervent request for God’s intervention, she prayed: “…the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:3). God has revealed what to do in order to please Him, and He knows of our obedience and disobedience (Proverbs 15:3).
What is the proper response to God’s omniscience? The inspired apostle Paul provided a fitting answer in Colossians 3:24: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Those who refuse to serve the Lord should be frightened by God’s omniscience, because God knows of every sin. And unforgiven sin will be punished (Psalm 90:8; Romans 6:23). For God’s children, however, the implications of God’s knowledge are sources of peace and strength (2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 3:22; Romans 11:33). Ultimately, the God Who knows everything will judge humans based on how we use the knowledge that has been revealed to us. We must act based on ourknowledge to prepare for eternity.

REFERENCES

Bales, James D. (1974), The Biblical Doctrine of God (Shreveport, LA: Lambert).
Kizer, Drew (2001), “Omniscience,” Words of Truth, 38[11]:6-7, November.
Thompson, Bert (1999), In Defense of the Bible’s Inspiration (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Woods, Guy N. (1988), “What is Meant by ‘God’s Omniscience and Omnipresence’?,” Gospel Advocate, 130[2]:34, February.

The Omnipotence of God by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1397

The Omnipotence of God

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


God is the only being Who possesses omnipotence. In the Oxford English Dictionary, “omnipotence” is defined as “all-powerfulness,” or “almightiness.” In other words, when God wants something to be done, it is done. God has all power in heaven and on Earth (Matthew 28:18), so unlike the limited power of humans, which is constrained by time, space, and force, God’s capabilities are limited only by His own character (see Miller, 2003). Paul wrote of God’s omnipotence in the sense that He is “above all, and through all, and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:6). God is preeminent for many reasons, not the least of which is His great power.
God has complete power over the Earth. The very first chapter of the Bible (Genesis 1) is full of references to God’s power. The words of His mouth brought the Universe into existence; He spoke the Cosmos into existence with only a word (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3). In order to create the Universe, God needed no pre-existing matter with which to work; rather, He Himself spoke the very first matter into existence (see Thompson, et al., 2003a2003b). After He created “the heavens and the Earth,” He spoke “light” into existence on Earth (Genesis 1:3). After creating light, He created the firmament, and much more, all by the power of His word.
God has complete power over the spiritual realm. Just as the first chapter in the Bible reveals that God created light on Earth, the last chapter in the Bible reminds us that God’s power will be responsible for the eternal light in heaven (Revelation 22:5). Christ repeatedly cast out devils during His earthly ministry (Matthew 8:16; 9:32-33; 12:22), and James revealed that the demons believe in the one God of the Bible, and that because they are aware of God’s omnipotence, they tremble (Luke 8:31; James 2:19). God now limits Satan himself, keeping him from directly inhabiting people or causing people physical pain (Zechariah 13:1-2).
Only God can perform “wonders,” and only God can furnish that capability to others (Job 5:9; Psalm 72:18; John 3:2). Christ again revealed His power over the spiritual realm when He brought Lazarus’ soul back from the realm of departed spirits, and returned it to Lazarus’ body (John 11:43). Similarly, God will resurrect all the dead one day, having already determined the fate of their souls (Mark 12:26-27; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:15,32; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
God has complete power over the affairs of men. John Waddey observed: “God was known to the patriarchs as El-Shaddai, God Almighty (Exodus 6:2-3). The term Shaddai, when connected with the Hebrew word El (God) means, ‘the mighty One to nourish, satisfy and supply.’ Thus we see His power to send forth blessings for He is the all-bountiful One” (1987, p. 1). It makes sense, then, that when Moses spoke to the entire assembly of the children of Israel the lyrics of a lengthy song, he included this line: “Nor is there any that can deliver out of My [God’s] hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39). Of course, just as God has the power to bless us and deliver the righteous from spiritual harm, He also has the uncontainable power to destroy the wicked, as can be seen in His utter destruction of the world through the global Flood of Noah’s time (except eight souls; see Thompson, 1999a).
The plural form of ElElohim, brings to light the fullness of God’s power, in that it highlights the Trinity (Psalm 38:75). Still another Old Testament expression used to denote omnipotence is Abhir, or “strong One” (Genesis 49:24; see Vos, 1994, 3:2188-2190). Jesus said that God is Spirit, emphasizing that God is not limited by impotence of flesh, as are humans (Isaiah 2:22; 31:3; John 4:24).
God’s power over the nations of the Earth is evident. Though God used the children of Israel as His means for bringing Christ to Earth, God’s power over large groups of people has never been limited to Israel. God has authority over all nations, and frequently has used them to accomplish His purposes (Isaiah 10:5; Jeremiah 25:9; Amos 1). Job said: “He makes nations great and destroys them” (Job 12:23). Kings have their dominion only because God allows it (see Custance, 1977, p. 134). Vos observed: “The prophets ascribe to Jehovah not merely relatively greater power than to the gods of the nations, but His power extends into the sphere of the nations, and the heathen gods are ignored in the estimate put upon His might (Isaiah 31:3)” [1994, 3:2189]. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was warned:
This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men…. This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses (Daniel 4:17,24-25, emp. added).
God has complete power over the devil, whom He created (though the devil was not evil at the time of his creation; see Colley, 2004). While the devil has certain powers that humans do not possess (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 11-12), Satan is not omnipotent. During his temptation of Christ, Satan admitted that whatever power he possessed had been “delivered to him” (Luke 4:6). Satan had to ask for God’s permission to harm Job (Job 1:7-12). Jesus said that Satan had desired to sift Peter as wheat; that is, Satan sought the express permission of God. Without it, Satan would be powerless to tempt Peter. While God never had a beginning, Satan was created (Colossians 1:16). For this, and other reasons, Satan is not omnipotent, and his power is far less potent than the power of God. John wrote: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
If we were to try to imagine someone whose power approached God’s might, we might think of Satan. Yet, the Bible reveals that nothing is too hard for the Lord—even defeating Satan (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17). In fact, Christ already conquered the devil, and eventually will punish him everlastingly in hell (Matthew 25:41; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 12-13). Hebrews 2:14 reads: “He [Christ] Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Milton, in Paradise Lost, wrote of Satan: “Him the Almighty Power hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky…Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms” (1.49).
God’s complete power is unending. Because God would not be God if He were not omnipotent, and because we know that God will never end, we can know that God’s power will never cease or diminish (see Colley, 2004). Furthermore, Isaiah plainly stated: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable” (40:28).

CONCLUSION

God’s omnipotence reassures us, because it is through the Divine power that His servants know that “nothing will be impossible” to those who faithfully serve Him (Matthew 17:20; Mark 9:23; Philippians 4:13). Those who are not faithful to the Lord should be terror-stricken by God’s omnipotence, because, in the Day of Judgment, the very force that created the Universe will condemn them to an everlasting punishment. Vos commented that omnipotence
evokes a specific religious response. This is true, not only of the Old Testament, where the element of the fear of God stands comparatively in the foreground, but remains true also in the New Testament. Even in our Lord’s teaching the prominence given to the fatherhood and love of God does not preclude that the transcendent majesty of the Divine nature, including omnipotence, is kept in full view and made a potent factor in the cultivation of the religious mind (Matthew 6:9). The beauty of Jesus’ teaching on the nature of God consists in this, that He keeps the exaltation of God above every creature and His loving condescension toward the creature in perfect equilibrium and makes them mutually fructified by each other. Religion is more than the inclusion of God in the general altruistic movement of the human mind; it is a devotion at every point colored by the consciousness of that Divine uniqueness in which God’s omnipotence occupies a foremost place (1994, 3:2190).
Little wonder that the multitude of Revelation 19:6 cried: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” The fact that God so willingly uses His omnipotent capacity for the ultimate benefit of His servants should motivate everyone to obey the Gospel (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). We will not escape the vengeance of God if we neglect the great salvation offered us (Hebrews 2:3).

REFERENCES

Colley, Caleb (2004), “The Eternality of God,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2565.
Custance, Arthur C. (1977), Time and Eternity and Other Biblical Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Miller, Dave (2003), “Things God Cannot Do,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2292.
Lockyer, Herbert (1997), All the 3s of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Thompson, Bert (1999a), The Global Flood of Noah (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), second edition.
Thompson, Bert (1999b), Satan—His Origin and Mission (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press, 2001 reprint).
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003a), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part I],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/22.
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003b), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part II],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/26.
Vos, Geerhardus (1994), “Omnipotence,” The International Bible Encyclopaedia, ed. James Orr, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Waddey, John (1987), “The Omnipotence of God,” Firm Foundation, 104[18]:1,4, September 22.

The Omnipotence of God by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1396

The Omnipotence of God

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


God is the only being Who possesses omnipotence. In the Oxford English Dictionary, “omnipotence” is defined as “all-powerfulness,” or “almightiness.” In other words, when God wants something to be done, it is done. God has all power in heaven and on Earth (Matthew 28:18), so unlike the limited power of humans, which is constrained by time, space, and force, God’s capabilities are limited only by His own character (see Miller, 2003). Paul wrote of God’s omnipotence in the sense that He is “above all, and through all, and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:6). God is preeminent for many reasons, not the least of which is His great power.
God has complete power over the Earth. The very first chapter of the Bible (Genesis 1) is full of references to God’s power. The words of His mouth brought the Universe into existence; He spoke the Cosmos into existence with only a word (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3). In order to create the Universe, God needed no pre-existing matter with which to work; rather, He Himself spoke the very first matter into existence (see Thompson, et al., 2003a2003b). After He created “the heavens and the Earth,” He spoke “light” into existence on Earth (Genesis 1:3). After creating light, He created the firmament, and much more, all by the power of His word.
God has complete power over the spiritual realm. Just as the first chapter in the Bible reveals that God created light on Earth, the last chapter in the Bible reminds us that God’s power will be responsible for the eternal light in heaven (Revelation 22:5). Christ repeatedly cast out devils during His earthly ministry (Matthew 8:16; 9:32-33; 12:22), and James revealed that the demons believe in the one God of the Bible, and that because they are aware of God’s omnipotence, they tremble (Luke 8:31; James 2:19). God now limits Satan himself, keeping him from directly inhabiting people or causing people physical pain (Zechariah 13:1-2).
Only God can perform “wonders,” and only God can furnish that capability to others (Job 5:9; Psalm 72:18; John 3:2). Christ again revealed His power over the spiritual realm when He brought Lazarus’ soul back from the realm of departed spirits, and returned it to Lazarus’ body (John 11:43). Similarly, God will resurrect all the dead one day, having already determined the fate of their souls (Mark 12:26-27; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:15,32; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
God has complete power over the affairs of men. John Waddey observed: “God was known to the patriarchs as El-Shaddai, God Almighty (Exodus 6:2-3). The term Shaddai, when connected with the Hebrew word El (God) means, ‘the mighty One to nourish, satisfy and supply.’ Thus we see His power to send forth blessings for He is the all-bountiful One” (1987, p. 1). It makes sense, then, that when Moses spoke to the entire assembly of the children of Israel the lyrics of a lengthy song, he included this line: “Nor is there any that can deliver out of My [God’s] hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39). Of course, just as God has the power to bless us and deliver the righteous from spiritual harm, He also has the uncontainable power to destroy the wicked, as can be seen in His utter destruction of the world through the global Flood of Noah’s time (except eight souls; see Thompson, 1999a).
The plural form of ElElohim, brings to light the fullness of God’s power, in that it highlights the Trinity (Psalm 38:75). Still another Old Testament expression used to denote omnipotence is Abhir, or “strong One” (Genesis 49:24; see Vos, 1994, 3:2188-2190). Jesus said that God is Spirit, emphasizing that God is not limited by impotence of flesh, as are humans (Isaiah 2:22; 31:3; John 4:24).
God’s power over the nations of the Earth is evident. Though God used the children of Israel as His means for bringing Christ to Earth, God’s power over large groups of people has never been limited to Israel. God has authority over all nations, and frequently has used them to accomplish His purposes (Isaiah 10:5; Jeremiah 25:9; Amos 1). Job said: “He makes nations great and destroys them” (Job 12:23). Kings have their dominion only because God allows it (see Custance, 1977, p. 134). Vos observed: “The prophets ascribe to Jehovah not merely relatively greater power than to the gods of the nations, but His power extends into the sphere of the nations, and the heathen gods are ignored in the estimate put upon His might (Isaiah 31:3)” [1994, 3:2189]. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was warned:
This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men…. This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses (Daniel 4:17,24-25, emp. added).
God has complete power over the devil, whom He created (though the devil was not evil at the time of his creation; see Colley, 2004). While the devil has certain powers that humans do not possess (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 11-12), Satan is not omnipotent. During his temptation of Christ, Satan admitted that whatever power he possessed had been “delivered to him” (Luke 4:6). Satan had to ask for God’s permission to harm Job (Job 1:7-12). Jesus said that Satan had desired to sift Peter as wheat; that is, Satan sought the express permission of God. Without it, Satan would be powerless to tempt Peter. While God never had a beginning, Satan was created (Colossians 1:16). For this, and other reasons, Satan is not omnipotent, and his power is far less potent than the power of God. John wrote: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
If we were to try to imagine someone whose power approached God’s might, we might think of Satan. Yet, the Bible reveals that nothing is too hard for the Lord—even defeating Satan (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17). In fact, Christ already conquered the devil, and eventually will punish him everlastingly in hell (Matthew 25:41; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 12-13). Hebrews 2:14 reads: “He [Christ] Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Milton, in Paradise Lost, wrote of Satan: “Him the Almighty Power hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky…Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms” (1.49).
God’s complete power is unending. Because God would not be God if He were not omnipotent, and because we know that God will never end, we can know that God’s power will never cease or diminish (see Colley, 2004). Furthermore, Isaiah plainly stated: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable” (40:28).

CONCLUSION

God’s omnipotence reassures us, because it is through the Divine power that His servants know that “nothing will be impossible” to those who faithfully serve Him (Matthew 17:20; Mark 9:23; Philippians 4:13). Those who are not faithful to the Lord should be terror-stricken by God’s omnipotence, because, in the Day of Judgment, the very force that created the Universe will condemn them to an everlasting punishment. Vos commented that omnipotence
evokes a specific religious response. This is true, not only of the Old Testament, where the element of the fear of God stands comparatively in the foreground, but remains true also in the New Testament. Even in our Lord’s teaching the prominence given to the fatherhood and love of God does not preclude that the transcendent majesty of the Divine nature, including omnipotence, is kept in full view and made a potent factor in the cultivation of the religious mind (Matthew 6:9). The beauty of Jesus’ teaching on the nature of God consists in this, that He keeps the exaltation of God above every creature and His loving condescension toward the creature in perfect equilibrium and makes them mutually fructified by each other. Religion is more than the inclusion of God in the general altruistic movement of the human mind; it is a devotion at every point colored by the consciousness of that Divine uniqueness in which God’s omnipotence occupies a foremost place (1994, 3:2190).
Little wonder that the multitude of Revelation 19:6 cried: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” The fact that God so willingly uses His omnipotent capacity for the ultimate benefit of His servants should motivate everyone to obey the Gospel (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). We will not escape the vengeance of God if we neglect the great salvation offered us (Hebrews 2:3).

REFERENCES

Colley, Caleb (2004), “The Eternality of God,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2565.
Custance, Arthur C. (1977), Time and Eternity and Other Biblical Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Miller, Dave (2003), “Things God Cannot Do,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2292.
Lockyer, Herbert (1997), All the 3s of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Thompson, Bert (1999a), The Global Flood of Noah (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), second edition.
Thompson, Bert (1999b), Satan—His Origin and Mission (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press, 2001 reprint).
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003a), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part I],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/22.
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003b), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part II],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/26.
Vos, Geerhardus (1994), “Omnipotence,” The International Bible Encyclopaedia, ed. James Orr, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Waddey, John (1987), “The Omnipotence of God,” Firm Foundation, 104[18]:1,4, September 22.

Teachings of Jesus (Part 16) A House Divided by Ben Fronczek

http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?p=1818

Teachings of Jesus (Part 16) A House Divided




Abe Lincoln was elected to congress in 1847. The Mexican war was going on at the time and Lincoln opposed the war. His antiwar speeches did not make his political supporters very happy and he knew they wouldn’t re-elect him.
So at the end of His term in 1849 he returned to Illinois to practice law. Then in 1858 he was nominated by the republican party to be an Illinois state senator.
Addressing the State convention at Springfield, he gave the first of his memorable speeches. His huge hands tensely gripped the speaker’s stand, he declared slowly and firmly: “A house divided against its self cannot stand”
At that time he was talking about the country being divided on the issue of slavery. But where did he get that phrase? He got it from Jesus. And it’s recorded in 3 of the 4 gospels. Matthew 12:25, Mark 3:25, and in our text for today Luke 11:17.
Even tho He was doing a good things Jesus was accused of driving out demons in the name of Beelzebul, or the ruler of demons.
In Luke 11:17-20 it says: “Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
Jesus brushes their accusation off with logic. They’re accusing Him of being in league with the prince of demons because of His power over demons. Basically He says that Satan would not attack his own subjects because it would only weaken and divide his kingdom.
As you know, we live in a country that is divided on many issues. Certain events periodically bring it together (Like what happened on 911). But that unity is usually short lived. We live in a world full of division and different loyalties. But we as Christians we are not to be of this world.
We are separated from the world by our belief in the word of God, and His Word never changes nor will it ever fade away.
Sad to say, that even Christ’s church has divided over time on numerable issues. But it did not start out that way when it began on the day of Pentecost and closely thereafter.  One can read in Acts 2 how the apostles and the early church was all with one accord in one place when it first began there in Jerusalem and the church was a unified body, of one faith, one hope, and love that bound believers together.
Bu that slowly changed; and in Eph. 4:3-6 the Apostle Paul wrote: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit. Just as you were called to one hope when you were called. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; One God and Father of all. Who is over all and through all and in all.”
When church members disagree over what God has prescribed in His word, then division begins to occur. Unfortunately we see division in almost every venue of life; in our nation, in families, in business, and even in the church.
Today I’m going to briefly talk about this problem which is addressed in one church, and then what will help cure division.
In the city of Corinth Paul shares some issues that they had and then tells us how to deal with these issues in His letters to them.
When Paul went to Corinth He worked as a tent maker and preached the Gospel there on a regular basis. He remained there for about a year and half, and established a growing church. (Acts 18)
The congregation consisted of some Jews, but was mostly Gentile and ex-pagan in nature. Socially, the membership ranged from the very affluent to Jewish refugees (Ac.18:2) and former criminals  (I Cor.6:9-11).
Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church was written about 55 years after the death of Jesus. In it he deals with issues on marriage, celibacy, food offered to idols, proper dress, responsibilities of women, public worship, spiritual gifts, and the resurrection of the dead.
Paul was also concerned about growing friction and division in that church. Different groups were forming and were quarrelling among themselves. Some had even taken other members to pagan courts to settle disputes. Although Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth was written to deal with specific needs of that church, it also has a tremendous value for us.
In his letter Paul addresses divisions in the church. I Corinthians 1:10; Paul wrote, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
And in verse 12:13 He says, “What I mean is this: One of you says, I follow Paul, another , I follow Apollos, another, I follow Cephas, still another, I follow Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into Paul?”
Sometimes congregations even today are divided for the same reason. People say I’m going to follow this teacher because He’s my favorite speaker, or I’m going to side with this person because he a family member. I’ve heard of some churches where the affluent people sit on one side and the not so affluent sat on the other side. Invisible barriers like this actually divide congregations. Close fellowship with one another should be a distinctive mark of the members of Jesus’ church. This unity among our members came about because of Jesus Christ. And this fellowship is meant to prompt church members to help one another emotionally, spiritually, and even economically if the need arises because of our relationship with Jesus..
Because of Jesus and what He did on that cross, He made it possible for all of us to unite across all cultural and economic lines to become ONE BODY.    Our relationship with Jesus should help produce unity and bonds with other church members who they would not normally associate with,
Galatians 3:27-28 says, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Listen to what Paul says in Romans 15:5-7; “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God desires unity among His people. Holding grudges and resenting other members of the body separates us from the will of Christ. Christians should accept each other as Christ accepts us. In Christ all people are one. All are brothers and sisters in Christ because all are indebted to Jesus.
Paul has weaved a thread of unity throughout this letter, but that thread doesn’t stop in this one letter to the Corinthians. It is woven throughout the Bible. We are called to be in harmony and in unison with each other. In chapter 11:19; Paul also says that there is no doubt that there will be differences of opinions. But differences can be healthy if they are approached in a Christ like manner. It’s where we can learn from one another, but we need to be careful with our attitudes.
Now in our text today, Jesus said that a house divided will not stand. In other words, division destroys relationships and peace. A divided home will fall apart. Division and arguments will cripple if not destroy a marriage, a friendship, a business, a church and even a nation, and more if things go too far.
We therefore need to learn how to nip this problem in the bud before they corrode our relationship and permanently divide us.
There are many things that can divide us. One big thing that can divide us is when we sin. Sin divided and separated us from God. Satan deceived Eve, separating man from fellowship with God. And He’s still at work, deceiving and dividing people with sin.
Immoral and adulterous behavior and lies divide husbands and wives. Sinful behavior can divide children from their parents. Jealousy, envy, and greed will divide people. Gossip, slander and sowing discord among brethren can tear even the best congregation apart.
There are other things that also can lead to division if we are not careful; things like poor communication, jumping to conclusions without all the facts, selfish behavior and other bad attitudes. We have to be careful of all of these.
So what is the cure for division? If anything, I believe a loving, faithful, kind, truthful, and forgiving attitude is the best cure. I believe they will pacify if not cure the problem. Love is the key to defusing division..
In I Corinthians 13:4-8, Paul says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth. It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
God sent his only begotten son into the world, because He loves us.      Jesus suffered and died on the cross for our sins, why? Because He loves us and wanted to fix the great rift or divide between us and God.
Love is the Key. Not being selfish, self centered, confrontational and always trying to argue our point as being the best.
I’m not saying that we need to approve of or even tolerate sinful behavior in others; some things are just plain unacceptable. But when someone simply thinks differently than we do, our love for them should prevent us from getting upset wit them because of those differences.
I would like to close by reading what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans about our need to love, and our need to accept other rather than divide over differing opinions.
Read Romans 12:9-18   Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
13:8-10  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
And Chapter 14:1-3 “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 
6-8 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
13-22   Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.”
You want to defuse arguments and potential rifts? Then seek peace. Sometimes that means keeping some of your beliefs and opinions to yourself.
Based on what I’ve read here, some things are just not worth fighting and dividing over. You don’t have to win every battle, and every argument. Rather in vs 19 Paul wrote, “Make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.”
Can you do that? I pray that you will make an effort to do so. It will only lead to a happier and more peaceful life.
Is there a rift between you and someone else? Go and do your part or what you can  to fix it. You don’t have to put up with another’s sinful behavior or fake  that it’s OK, but it’s important for us to remember that we need to hate the sin but love the sinner…. Just like God does with us.
(Based on a Sermon by David Thompson) For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com