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Divine Judgment on False Teachers, Part 1

2 Peter 2:3b-5 December 09, 1990 61-18

Tonight's text is taken from the middle of verse 3 down to the middle of verse 10. Let me read it to you. Second Peter 2 beginning in the middle of verse 3, "...Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep; for if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness reserved for judgment, and did not spare the ancient world but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness with seven others when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly, and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter, and if He rescued righteous Lot oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men, for by what he saw and heard that righteous man while living among them felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority."

God is a God of truth. He is called the God of truth in Isaiah 65:16. The psalmist says, "Righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne and loving kindness and truth go before Him," Psalm 89:14. In Psalm 146 and verse 6 the psalmist says, "God keeps truth forever." In Psalm 57 and verse 10 he says, "Thy loving kindness is great to the heavens and Thy truth to the clouds." A familiar verse in Psalm 119:160 says, "The sum of Thy Word is truth." And in Psalm 86:15 he says of God that He is abundant in truth. In the book of Revelation one of the great statements about God is given in chapter 15 and verse 3 and there it says, "Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God the Almighty, righteous and true are Thy ways."

Scripture also says, looking at it from the opposite angle, that God cannot lie, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18. And it says in Romans, "Let God be true if it means that every man is a liar." God is true. God speaks only the truth. God cannot lie.

God has revealed His truth in the Scripture. Jesus in praying to the Father said, regarding the church, "Sanctify them by their truth," and then He said, "Thy Word is truth." The Scripture then is the truth of God. And the true God has spoken truly in His true Word. That means as a consequence He wants this Word communicated truly. He wants to communicated entirely and exactly as He gave it, with no omission and no deviation. God is true. He has given a true Word. He expects it to be truly proclaimed.

On the other hand, the adversary of God and Christ is the devil. And in John 8:44 Jesus said the devil is a liar and the father of it. And so, wherever you have the enterprise of Satan you have an attack on truth. It says in Proverbs 6:19 that God because He is a God of truth hates a false witness who utters lies. It says also in Proverbs 19:5 that a liar will not escape the wrath of God. It says in Proverbs 19:9 that a liar will perish. And at the end of the book of Revelation, as God puts the final seal on this truth, He says in chapter 21 of Revelation and verse 8, "For the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death." And in verse 27 of that same twenty-first chapter of Revelation it says, "And nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying shall ever come into heaven." In Revelation chapter 22 and verse 15 it says, "Outside the holy city are dogs and sorcerers and immoral persons and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices lying."

Obviously God cares about truth. He is a God of truth. He always speaks truth. He has revealed His truth in His Word. And He expects it to be proclaimed exactly and entirely in the truthfulness with which it was inspired. And He expects men to speak truth.

We would then assume that God is very much against liars. We've seen that. But there's something even beyond that. It is one thing to tell a lie, it is a far greater thing to teach lies as if they were truth. In Isaiah chapter 9 and verse 15 Scripture says that God will cut off the prophet who teaches falsely...and "cut off" always means to destroy. In Isaiah 28:15 it says God will destroy those who have made falsehood their refuge and concealed themselves in deception. And it says in the seventeenth verse of that same twenty-eighth chapter in Isaiah that God will sweep away the lies and sweep away the liars in judgment. And then in verse 22 it says He will bring upon them devastating destruction.

In Jeremiah chapter 9 and verse 3 it says that God will bring judgment on Judah because she listened to lying prophets and because, verse 5 says, lies and not truth prevail in the land, they have taught their tongue to speak lies. In Jeremiah 14:14 and Jeremiah 23 verses 25 and 26, the prophets, God says, have lied using My name, and He says I'll kill them with a sword, or I'll kill them with a famine, but I'll kill them. In Jeremiah 23 and verse 14 God says I will destroy the prophets who have committed adultery and taught lies. The same thing is said in Ezekiel 13, the same thing is said in Zechariah 13. It just goes on like that throughout the Old Testament.

God is a God of truth. That's one of His attributes. And it sets Him against all liars, particularly those who misrepresent Him and misrepresent His Word with their lies. To tell a lie is a serious sin, to teach lies is a more serious sin. To teach lies as if they were the truth of God is the most serious defection from truth. And this text that I've just read tells us how God will treat such lying prophets, such lying teachers. What I read you is one long sentence and, believe me, it is white hot, that's why Peter never stops to take his breath. There's really nowhere to put the punctuation. It's one long conditional sentence, all the conditions sort of begin in verse 4 and the conclusion hits in verse 9. If..if..if..if..if..if...then, from verse 4 through the middle of verse 10, one long, white-hot, heated sentence. And it is heated with the fury of God as Peter lays out the judgment of false teachers.

Now we've already been introduced to these false teachers and do you remember that we had sort of a basic outline of their portrait in verses 1 to 3? We learned a lot about them in a sketch form. When we get to the middle of verse 10 and go from there to the end of the chapter, that sketch is going to be filled in in full color and we're going to know many more details about false teachers. But before he fills in the outline he gave us in verses 1 to 3 with all the details that fully color their portrait, he stops to tell about their judgment. In fact, he already mentioned it in verse 1, didn't he? He said they're bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And so he stops to tell us a little about this swift destruction. And as we look at this section tonight and next week, we're going to see three straightforward points are made by Peter...the promise of their judgment, the precedent for their judgment and the pattern of their judgment.

Now I know there are people who don't want to believe this. Harvey Cox, somewhat well-known secular author, wrote a play called, "The Feast of Fools." And in it he presents Christianity as a comedy and Jesus Christ as a clown because, he said, "Neither are to be taken seriously."

I was reading a speech recently by Ted Turner who seems to have lined up with Harvey Cox. He said, "The problem in our world today is religion...quoting him...Christianity with the book of Revelation predicted the world's going to be destroyed by fire and Armageddon, no wonder we're so pessimistic about things, we're carrying this terrible burden that we're all born evil, we're just rotten and no good and Christ had to come down and die on the cross for us so that with the spilling of His blood our sins could be washed away. I mean, Christ was a great guy but I don't want Him to die for me. I used to be real religious until I really started thinking about it. Come on, ease up, lighten up a little. I don't really want to go to heaven anyway. I don't want to walk on streets of gold and gold prices are only going down, the streets would have to be platinum to make me happy. Maybe they should put toxic waste in heaven, because if we get it off the earth and ship it up there it isn't going to hurt the people in heaven," end quote.

There are a lot of people who want to mock the reality of future judgment. But Peter was very serious when he wrote what he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Any man is a fool who doesn't understand that God will not only judge false teachers, but He will judge along with them all who lived and bought their deception.

Let's look at the first point, the promise of their judgment. Verse 1 at the end, "They...the false prophets mentioned at the beginning of verse 1...are bringing swift destruction upon themselves." And then at the end of verse 3 as we also saw in our last study, he says, "Their judgment from long ago is not idle and their destruction is not asleep." There's the promise, twice given...in verse 1, in verse 3, they are promised condemnation. Let's just focus on verse 3. "Their judgment from long ago," or as the King James says, "From of old."

What do you mean by that? Well though false teachers are not yet judged, that is the ones that are alive at the time Peter writes and the ones that are alive at any time someone reads this, including now, though they have not yet been judged, their judgment was planned long ago. That's what he's saying.

What does he mean by that and what is he saying? Very simply understood it is this, the judgment of liars and deceivers and false prophets and false teachers is all vested in the nature of God as a God of truth. You understand that? Because God by nature is a God of truth, He will judge all liars and deceivers. That judgment is vested in the eternality of His nature as true. He is true and holy, He is the judge of all who pervert His truth and all liars, especially those who say they speak for Him but do not truthfully teach His Word. So the eternal God by His very nature as truth has set in motion long ago the condemnation of those who falsify His Word. In fact, the moment that sin appeared in the created universe, the sentence of God was enacted on anyone who spoke a lie. It was set in motion at that moment. And all liars and all those who teach falsely about God's Word were doomed. The verdict of guilty was in when the first sin was committed against all liars and perverters of truth.

And so, their judgment was established long ago. And it's not idle, that is it has not become inert by sitting around for a long time. And their destructions not asleep, and there you have the personification of destruction as if it were an executioner. Their executioner has not fallen asleep, it is inevitable, it is coming. That's the promise of their judgment.

But I want us to focus, as Peter does, tonight on the precedent for their judgment. Somebody might say, "Well now you're sure about this, you're sure God is not too loving and too gracious and too merciful and too kind and too forgiving not to just sort of sweep all of their lies away? You're sure God's really going to react in a swift and devastating destruction against people who lie and teach falsehood?

Yes, and Peter tells you why, verse 4, "If God didn't spare the angels when they sinned," verse 5, "And He didn't spare the ancient world, but drowned them all," verse 6, "And if He didn't spare Sodom and Gomorrah when they sinned," then do you think He's going to spare false teachers? That's his point, that's the precedent. He takes three classic illustrations out of the book of Genesis and they are the precedent for final judgment on the liars and the deceivers and the false prophets and the false teachers and everybody who follows them. Three powerful illustrations.

Let's begin in verse 4, I don't know how far we'll get but we won't worry about it, we'll get as far as we can get. "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness reserved for judgment." Notice the little word "for" which begins the verse. With this little word Peter introduces the conditional sentence, the conclusion of which comes in verse 9. "For if..." I would prefer that that word had been translated "Since," because there's no doubt here. "If" sometimes implies doubt...if you do this, such and such. But there's no doubt here because this is already written in history, this has already been done. It is an assured truth, it is an historical fact. And so since God did not spare angels when they sinned...the point is, if God judged in the past and He did, then He will judge in the future. It's an old pattern...the precedent has already been established.

And there is a movement here, watch this, from the higher to the lower. If God judged angels, more elevated beings than we are, when they sinned, why do men think they will escape? Those who pervert the truth of God, who teach falsehood, who lead people astray and the people led astray by them will be judged in the future just as they have been judged in the past, be they men or angels. And this negates some...some kind of sentiment about God that might cause some people to believe that God would never punish anybody, all you have to do is look at the past and you'll see the precedent has already been clearly established. And even though it says in Ezekiel 33:11 that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, it doesn't mean that God won't punish. It brings Him no pleasure but it must be done, His holiness requires it.

Now the first illustration he uses is that of fallen angels. He says if God did not spare angels. All creatures that God has created, including angels, are responsible to Him for what they do with His truth. No matter how exalted those creatures may be in relation to man, and angels are certainly above us. Even angels do not fall outside the judgment of God.

And by the way, his choice of this illustration some have suggested implies that false teachers were very prominent, honored and respected men who were thought of almost as if they were living on another level like angels. Could be that Peter had that in mind, it certainly has been true, it certainly is true today. There are people who have exalted and lifted up false teachers. There are those people who in the eyes of the church, in the eyes of religious people are elevated beyond the common people and someone might assume that they have reached a level where they're sort of untouchable. Even if they had the elevated nature of angelic beings, it wouldn't save them from judgment because it didn't save the angels.

Back to verse 4. If God didn't spare angels when they sinned. This is one of the great, great realities of the Scripture that is really inexplicable in many ways. The fact that angels sinned. We don't know...we don't know how exactly that happened but we know that God created the angels and they were all before Him in holiness, worshiping and surrounding His throne and adoring Him. And the highest of them all was a created angel by the name of Lucifer who decided that he wanted to be like God, he wasn't content to be lower than God, he wanted to be equal with God and so he led a rebellion. And according to Revelation chapter 12, one third of all the holy angels bought into his rebellion and in pride were lifted up and set themselves against God. They rebelled against the holy Creator. It was the sin of pride and rebellion.

And so thousands of thousands, myriads and myriads of these beings fell and were doomed to damnation. Today we know them as fallen angels, or demons, evil spirits. Now is that the fall that Peter has in mind? Is that it? The time when the third of the angels, according to Revelation 12, were cast down with their leader Lucifer who became the dragon, even Satan? Is that what he's talking about here? Let's read on and see. "If God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness..."

Wait a minute, can't be them. Are all the demons in hell and committed into pits of darkness? No. Where are they? They're all over the place. They're running around loose. So whatever sin he's talking about here can't be the original fall of angels, because when they fell they were not incarcerated in hell and committed permanently to pits of darkness waiting their final judgment. In fact, in Ephesians 6 verse 12 it says right now you and I as believers are wrestling against demons, doesn't it? We don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies? Those are all titles for demons.

So, whoever these beings are, they're something other than the demons running around loose all over the world. Notice that phrase "but cast them into hell." That's one word in the Greek.

"Cast them into hell," is one word, it is a fascinating word. The word is tartarosos(?). To transliterate it, he tartarized them. Now that's not something you do with your fish when you eat out, close. He tartarized them. What does it mean? He sent them to Tartaros. That's a funny name, what's that? Well you can see here the translators have elected to translate it with the English word "hell" because that's what it was used to refer to. Since no one who discussed hell or preached about hell or read about hell had been there, and since its punishments and torments were basically inexplicable unless given some analogy, there had to be a word in the culture that they could use to describe something about what hell was. You remember that Jesus when He talked about hell liked to use the word Gehenna because that word gave a picture of what hell was like. Gehenna was the name for the valley in which the dump of Jerusalem was located. And it had an unending, burning fire...always burning all the time and that was the word Jesus chose to illustrate the inextinguishable flames of hell.

Here Peter borrows a word from Greek mythology...the word Tartaros. The Greeks said that Tartaros was a place lower than Hades, it was the lowest place for wicked, rebellious gods and people were sent there to receive the worst punishment. It was the lowest place a being could go. And the Jews eventually came to use that term to describe the place where the fallen angels were sent. It was the lowest hell, the deepest pit, the most terrible place of torture and eternal suffering.

So Peter borrows this vivid word from Greek mythology from the language of his time because any of his readers, both Gentile and Jew, would understand its meaning. And these angels that sinned, it says in verse 4, were cast into Tartaros, were tartarized into the deepest hell.

He further describes it in verse 4 as having them committed to pits of darkness. The word "committed" here is used, by the way, in the book of Acts twice, 8:3 and 12:4, of turning over a prisoner for imprisonment. They were turned over for imprisonment. Tartaros here is further described as a pit of darkness. The word "pit" is a Greek word seiros, it's really transliterated s-i-r-o, and the word that we have in our language that comes from it is s-i-l-o, silo, which is a storage place where something is kept. In ancient times such places of storage were in the ground, subterranean pits for the storing of grain.

And so, Peter says angels that sinned were sent to the deepest, severest place of punishment, a subterranean pit of darkness. This is reminiscent again of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 8:12 when He says that hell is a place of blackness and darkness.

Some manuscripts, and maybe if you have a King James, instead of "pits" you might have the word "chains." Some ancient manuscripts do have that word but the best evidence indicates that the better manuscripts use the word "pits." Jude in verse 6 of his little epistle does refer to their imprisonment in chains, and some scribe perhaps wanting to make Peter consistent with Jude slipped Jude's word over into Peter's epistle when he was copying a manuscript and thus it arrived there. But it's best to see it as the word "pits." Either way, whether it's pits or chains, it's the same idea. The word darkness is zophos, blackness.

So here were some angels who sinned and were sent to the deepest hell in a subterranean pit of blackness to be kept there until the day of judgment...the deepest place of torment. And they are held there, the end of verse 4 says, reserved for judgment. They're like a prisoner who's incarcerated awaiting final sentencing. There's no bail for them. There's no way out. The place is only temporary in the sense that in the day of judgment they will go to another place. Do you know what other place? Revelation 20:10 says the devil and all his angels will be cast into the...what?...the lake of fire. That's the final form of hell.

The question comes again, who are these angels and what in the world did they do to deserve this? They must have done something very serious because, after all, there are a lot of other demons running around loose, right? Why did God choose to bind these for the duration of man's time on the earth and then finally consign them at the time of the Great White Throne into the lake of fire? Why? What did they do? What kind of atrocity did they commit that forced God to imprison them?

By the way, the rest of the loose demons know about this group. Oh yeah, and they don't want to go to that place. Listen to Matthew chapter 8, you remember this, "And when Jesus came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs, they were so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road, they were demon-possessed men. And behold, they cried out when they saw Jesus, `What do we have to do with You, Son of God?'" Listen to the next thing, "Have you come here to torment us before the time?" What did they mean by that? They mean, "Are you going to send us now to the pit where our fellow fallen angels are before we're supposed to go?" You say, "Do they know when they're supposed to go?" Oh yeah, they know about the final lake of fire that follows the Great White Throne judgment, and so they don't want to go there and they say, "You haven't come to send us before our time, have You?" And in Luke chapter 8, the same incident, Luke adds something else, verse 31, "And they were entreating Him," the demons were, "not to command them to depart into the abyss." They didn't want to go there. They didn't want to go there.

You know something? This is fascinating. As vile and wretched and wicked and filthy as fallen angels or demons are, they are somewhat restrained in their conduct because they are in constant fear that they might if they overstep their limits be sent to the pit of blackness. And they don't want to go there. And you ask what restrains them to some extent? That does.

It's interesting to realize also that during the time of the Tribulation some of that restraint is going to be released and the Bible even says that there are some demons in that pit, different than these, but some in that pit that will be released and maybe the rest of the demons will get the idea that the chains of the pit are broken and feel more free than they've ever felt, and that may be one contributing factor to the horrors of the Tribulation. But they don't want to go to the pit. So, the fact that God sent this batch of fallen angels to the pit has acted as a form of restraint, to some extent.

You say, "But now wait a minute, who are they?" Let's find out, let's go to Jude chapter 6 and see what they did, because Jude talks about the same thing. Jude and 2 Peter are very parallel, 2 Peter 2, please notice verse 6, Jude tells us, right(?) down(?), what happened. "Angels," he says, here's what they did, "They did not keep their own domain," domain means sphere of being, sphere of life, they didn't stay where they belonged. They didn't stay where they belonged. "They abandoned their proper dwelling place." They got out of character. They moved out of their place of being, their sphere of life, their nature. They moved beyond the demon sphere.

In what way? Well would you notice that verse 6 also says, "Those are the ones He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day." So now we're getting close, this is another clue, isn't it? Who are they? They're some angels who moved, they were already fallen, they were already demons, but they moved into some behavior that took them out of the sphere of their normal being, out of the sphere of their normal life, out of their proper dwelling place.

What did they do? Verse 7 of Jude, "Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way..." Oh, now wait a minute, now we're getting closer. Whatever they did was very much like what Sodom and Gomorrah did. What did they do? "In the same way as these indulged in...what?...gross immorality." What was the gross immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah? Homosexuality...homosexuality, and we'll discuss that in detail next Sunday night. And he says it, "They went after...what kind of flesh?...strange flesh." They went beyond their sphere of being. That's what happened in Sodom, men after men, women after women, strange flesh.

These demons, these fallen angels did the same thing. Like the men of Sodom who lusted, do you remember the men lusting after the angels, and angels appear in a male form, a male body whenever they appear. And the filthy vile homosexuals of Sodom and Gomorrah lusted after these angels. And that's why God destroyed that place. Listen carefully, as the men of Sodom lusted and went after angels, so the angels lusted and went after men. That's the comparison. As the men wanted to leave their natural state and move beyond the unnatural lusting for men to the bizarre lusting after angels, so the angels lusted after men, actually after women, men generically.

You say, "Well when did that happen?" Go back to 1 Peter chapter 3 and we add to our list of clues. First Peter chapter 3, when Jesus died on the cross, Peter says in verse 18, "He was dead in the flesh." That's right, His body was in the grave. He was put to death in the flesh. The end of verse 18, 1 Peter 3, "But though He was dead in His body, His spirit was...what?...was alive." Where did He go when His body was in the grave, where was His spirit? It says in verse 19, "That He went somewhere and He preached to some spirits who...were what?...in prison." Now we've got another clue. The spirits that He went to proclaim, keruzo...kerusso, rather, He went to proclaim a triumph. That means to herald a victory, to proclaim a triumph. He went to proclaim His triumph over some spirits imprisoned. Now we know who they are, don't we? They're the ones in Tartaros, in the pits of darkness, the ones who were there because they went after strange flesh.

Why did He do that? Why did...He could have gone a lot of places, why did He go down there and proclaim His victory over them? Well, you see, the demon world felt that when Christ was dead on the cross maybe they'd won. And so right in the middle of their party to celebrate His death, He showed up. And He showed up to pronounce His victory over them. And there He came.

You say, "Why was that important?" I'll tell you why, verse 20, we're going to get closer now to the reality. Who are these spirits? And when did they do this? "They were disobedient...when?...when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of...what?...Noah." So whoever these fallen angels are who left their proper sphere and lusted after mankind, particularly women, and were then put in prison until the final lake of fire, it happened in the days of Noah. Oh now we really have a clue. Now we really have a clue.

These spirits, by the way, are angels. Peter calls people souls in verse 20. The New Testament always uses spirits to refer to angels, not men...unless there is a qualifying genitive that makes it clear that it's human. Their sin was in the time of Noah. Let's go back to the time of Noah, Genesis 6.

This was a bad time, folks. Do you think we have a bad time today? I don't think we have a time today as bad as that time. You say, "Why do you say that?" Because there were only how many believers on the whole world? Eight...the worst time in human history, just before God drowned the whole world. Genesis 6, "It came about when men began to multiply on the face of the land and the daughters were born to them, that the sons of God..." stop right there. Reference to angels who are called in the Old Testament "sons of God." "They saw the daughters of men and saw that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves whomever they chose." And here you have demons taking on a male form, cohabitating with women.

You say, "Why did they do that?" I believe they did it to breed...listen carefully...to breed an unredeemable race of demon men...so as to damn that race no matter what Christ did. As long as men were men, the God/Man could redeem them. But if they became a race of demon/men, they were unredeemable, for demons will know no redemption. They produced monstrous beings that had to be drowned. And in verse 3 it says, "The Lord said My Spirit will not always strive with men forever." I'm not going to take this, I'm not going to take this. It mentions in verse 4 the Nephilim, that could be a reference to the monsters produced out of these unions when the sons of God came to the daughters of men and they bore blank to them. Those were the mighty men, renown. They would be beyond humans. They would be some kind of...some kind of superhuman creature. And God had to drown them along with the whole world. That's who those demons are. And they were put in permanent chains because of that unbelievable attempt to destroy the capability of Christ to redeem the race.

And I believe that's why He showed up in the pit...to say I have accomplished My redemption, the redemption which you could not have corrupted. And pronounced His victory over them, in particular, for they had gone farther than any other demons in attempting to corrupt a redemptive plan of God. Those are the demons who are in Tartaros, in the black pit waiting till they are cast into the final hell or the lake of fire.

Here's Peter's point. If God didn't spare the greater angelic beings who were His special creation, once gathered around His throne, more glorious, more intelligent than mankind, if God didn't spare them when they perverted His truth and when they spread corruption, then will He not judge false teachers who are lesser beings who lead people to believe lies about Him and His Word and thus endeavor to destroy His redemptive purpose. That's only example number one of what God is going to do to those why by any means be they angel or man who attempt to corrupt redemptive truth and purpose.

We'll have to come back next week for the second illustration.

Lord, as we think about this fearful looking for of judgment, we are thankful to know the truth but we're not thankful for the reality of it. Foolish men will always say, "Where is the promise of His coming, all things continue as they were from the beginning," as Peter will point out in the next chapter. But it's not so. For God has already shown what He's going to do to those who pervert His truth by what He did to the angels who are bound for all of time in the deepest hell, a pit of blackness, never to escape, but ultimately to be sentenced to the lake of fire because they endeavor to pervert His redemptive purpose through their polluting influence. We don't understand the strangeness of that demon/human conjugation, but we do understand clearly Your reaction to it. We also know that even today demons, seducing spirits propagating demon doctrine, move through hypocritical false teachers to pervert Your truth and destroy Your redemptive purpose. And if God destroyed those greater beings, we can be assured that the lesser will receive His fury as well. Lord, we thank You on the one hand for the great grace of God through the Spirit that has led us to the knowledge of the truth lest we fall victim to these lies and to judgment. Thank You, thank You for Your grace, thank You for loving us and giving Yourself for us that we might be redeemed in spite of all the satanic ploys that like Noah we have found an ark of safety before the flood and like Lot we have found a hill for a refuge before the fire consumes the valley, and this not because of any worthy thing in us, but because of Your grace alone. We bless You and thank You, for the sake of our Savior. Amen.