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III. The Divine Government
A. God's Judgment on the False Teachers
1 But there arose also false prophets among the people, as also among you there will be false teachers, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their licentiousness, because of whom the way of the truth will be reviled.
3 And in covetousness, with fabricated words, they will make merchandise of you, for whom the judgment of old is not idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
B. God's Judgment on Both Angels and Men
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned but delivered them to gloomy pits, having cast them down to Tartarus, they being kept for judgment;
5 And did not spare the ancient world but guarded Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And having reduced to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, condemned them to ruin, having set them as an example to those who intend to live an ungodly life,
7 And rescued righteous Lot, who had been oppressed by the licentious manner of life of the lawless
8 (For that righteous man, who settled down among them, in seeing and hearing tormented his righteous soul day after day with their lawless works);
9 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of trial and how to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
C. The Evils of the False Teachers
and Their Punishment under God's Judgment
10 And especially those who go after the flesh in the lust for defilement and despise lordship. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble while reviling dignities;
11 Whereas angels, though they are greater in strength and power, do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
12 But these, like animals without reason, born natural for capture and destruction, reviling in things of which they are ignorant, will also in their corrupting of others be destroyed;
13 Suffering unrighteousness as the wages of unrighteousness; considering luxury in the day to be pleasure; spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceits while feasting together with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery and not ceasing from sin; enticing unstable souls, having a heart exercised for covetousness, children of curse.
15 Forsaking the straight way, they have gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness
16 But had reproof for his own transgression: a dumb beast of burden, uttering with a man's voice, restrained the madness of the prophet.
17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the gloom of darkness is kept.
18 For uttering great swelling words of vanity, they entice by lusts of the flesh, with licentiousness, those who are barely escaping from them who live in error;
19 Promising freedom to them, while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom anyone has been defeated, by this one he has been enslaved.
20 For if, having escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but having again been entangled in these, they are defeated, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb: The dog has turned to its own vomit, and the washed sow to wallowing in the mud.