False Prophets

1 But false prophets arose among the people, just as false teachers will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying the Master who bought them and bringing swift destruction to them. 2 Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be slandered. 3 And in their greed, through fictitious stories, they will use you for their own profit, but their condemnation began long ago, and their destruction will not slumber.

4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved for judgment; 5 and if God did not spare the ancient world but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, having made them an example to those who would live in an ungodly way, 7 but delivered righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed by the lustful life of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man dwelling among them was tormented in his righteous soul from day to day from witnessing and hearing about their lawless deeds); 9 the Lord knows how to deliver the godly from temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 especially those who walk in the flesh and its lustful defilement and disrepect of authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to slander the glorious ones.

Profane and Blasphemous Seducers

11 Angels, however, though greater in might and power, do not bring before the Lord, a slanderous complaint against them. 12 But these people, like animals incapable of reasoning, creatures of instinct to be taken and destroyed, speaking blasphemes in matters in which they are ignorant, will in their destroying surely be destroyed. 13 They will receive their due reward for their unrighteousness, these people who find pleasure in reveling in broad daylight. They are flawed defects, reveling in their deceit while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery, who cannot stop sinning, enticing unstable people, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; 15 forsaking the right way. They went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages from misdeeds, 16 but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever. 18 For, uttering inflated words of emptiness, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by licentiousness, those who are barely escaping from those who live in error, 19 promising them freedom, while they themselves are the slaves of corruption; for a man is a slave to whatever overpowers him.

20 For if, after they have escaped from the world’s corruption through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are once again entangled in it and overcome by it, the last state will be worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But this has happened to them according to the true proverb, “The dog returns to his own vomit,” a and “the swine that has been washed to wallowing in the slime.”

a Proverbs 26:11

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