2 Peter 2:12-13, “12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions,[a] while they feast with you.”
As we continue looking at 2 Peter, let us remember that the qualities characterizing these teachers have often been often described other false teachers also. We need to consider these qualities Peter condemns because they are characteristics to consider whenever someone claims to be a teacher of the Word of God.
Arrogance is a trait of the false teachers Peter describes. These teachers mocked and denied the power of Satan, convinced that they were not under his influence. These false teachers taught were not afraid to say whatever they wanted as if they had nothing to fear from beings more powerful than they. This arrogance stands in contrast to the humility of God’s angels who are greater in power than demons, but recognize their own need to be wary of evil, even as they pronounce judgment upon it (2 Peter 2:10-11).
In 2 Peter 2:12-13, Peter explains that these arrogant false teachers are destined for destruction. To do this he compares them with irrational animals who operate only by instinct and are thus born to be destroyed. Peter is not endorsing wholesale slaughter here of animals nor animal cruelty. Peter is picking up on a popular theme in his day where animinal slaughter was common, along with Scripture’s teaching on steward that talks about the world’s present state, some “creatures of instinct” (v.12) glorify God by serving man’s need for food, clothing, and other things. In their pursuit of living however they want and living in rebellion against God, these teachers are no more rational than animals and are destined to destruction.
2 Peter 2:13 explains that false teachers find pleasure in reveling in the daytime and enjoy their deceptions while feasting with Peter’s congregation. Peter here focuses on the “love feasts” or fellowship meals that followed the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in the Early Church. This feasting with other Christians shows that these false teachers considered themselves genuine Christians and probably “excellent” believers at that when in reality their behavior revealed them as blots and blemishes to the Church.
False teachers who often leave the Church to start their own cults are in one sense easier to deal with because they have set themselves apart from the Christian Church. Even so, those who remain in the Church and cling to the name “Christian” and yet deny biblical orthodoxy and preach contrary to the Word of God abound in our day. While we must not be divisive over minor matters, we must also be discerning about all teachers of the Word of God. Please pray that as you study the Word of God with others teachers that the Lord will illuminate His Word to you and help you to discern truth from error.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.