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Wells Without Water
By Rosco Brong
True Christians Receive Spiritual Blessings From God and Pass Them on to Others.
"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever" (II Peter 2: 17).
This text describes under two figures false or counterfeit Christians referred to in greater detail throughout the second chapter of Second Peter. Wells without water and clouds that give no rain, but are driven by the storm, are fitting illustrations of people who put on the appearance of Christianity, but have not within themselves the spiritual life which would be a blessing to themselves and to others.
Outstanding among these wells without water are the "... false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies. . ." (II Peter 2: 1.) These false teachers, we are told, will bring upon themselves swift destruction. They may be recognized by the heresies they teach, by their pernicious ways, and by their covetousness, as we may note in the first three verses of this chapter.
Other unjust (lost) persons, whom the Lord knows how to reserve unto the day of judgment to be punished, are said to be "presumptuous, self willed" and "not afraid to speak evil of dignities." These are professed Christians who habitually "walk after the flesh" and "despise government." "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him..." (Titus 1:16.) Some of their sins are mentioned in detail:
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed; speak evil of the things that they understand not: and shall utterly perish in their own corruption: And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you: Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices: cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness" (II Peter 2:12-15).
Slaves of Corruption
Among these false teachers are those who promise liberty to others through their counterfeit gospels, though "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" (II Peter 2:19.) In the last three verses of the chapter the apostle tells the truth about those fake Christians who are said to have escaped the pollutions of the world and then are entangled therein.
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (II Peter 2:20-22).
Water of Life
Such is the graphic description of these wells without water. Surely the figure would be clear enough even if we did not have it explained elsewhere in scripture that Christians are to be wells or fountains from which streams of spiritual life go forth to water thirsty souls about them.
But we are not dependent on our own intelligence or imagination for an understanding of this figure. Jesus Himself declared, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).
This "well of water springing up into everlasting life" is designed of God not only to be a blessing to the soul that is saved, but a fountain of life flowing forth to bless others: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). Lest we should not understand this spiritual language, John plainly tells us in the next verse "(But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given: because that Jesus was not yet glorified)" (John 7:39).
So it appears from the scriptures that the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit are intended to be a means of blessing to other people and not merely for us to enjoy. So Jesus told His apostles on one occasion, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).
Paul told the church at Corinth, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" and reminded the pastors of Ephesus that Jesus said, "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said; It is more blessed to give than to receive" (I Corinthians 15:3; Acts 20:35).
"As Many As"
This characteristic of a true Christian, that he has within him the Spirit of Christ so directing his own life that he becomes a source of spiritual blessing to others, is not, as taught by the false holiness cults, an extra special attainment of relatively few of God's people in a "second blessing," but is a proper trait of every true child of God.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God . . . But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:14, 9).
Sad to say, there are multitudes of professed Christians who have not the Spirit of God, but they are not the children of God. They are "wells without water": they themselves have never drunk of the water of life proceeding from the throne of God, and so they have none of this water to offer to others.
They are "wells without water": they have the appearance of wells but they are only dry holes; they look like Christians but they have no life within.
[From AAB, June 30, 1972. - jrd]
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