September 3, 2017

Great Swelling Words – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Most Bible students understand that God brought the destroying judgment of the flood on His created world because He, “…saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” (Genesis 6:5). Righteous Enoch saw this disastrous downward trend. He was “in the seventh generation from Adam,” (Jude 14), and was Noah’s great-grandfather, (Genesis 5:21-29). Enoch courageously spoke out against the evil conduct of his day and warned that the Lord was coming, “to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 15).

Consider his description of those who influenced that world.

“These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage,” (Jude 16 NKJV).

The New English Version renders his description as follows: “These people are grumblers and fault-finders who go wherever their desires lead them, and they give bombastic speeches, enchanting folks for their own gain.” (Jude 16 NET)

The bolded words above are translated from the Greek word, ὑπέρογκος, which is defined: “(…‘of excessive size, puffed up, swollen’) also haughty, pompous, bombastic…” BDAG.

Have you ever listened to “swollen” words? This picturesque term accurately describes words often heard from opponents of the truth. I have watched audiences bombarded by great swelling, bombastic words, words used with dogged, vicious determination to destroy truth. Unfortunately, the method very effectively sways many; not evidence or reason, but puffed up, swollen, haughty, pompous, bombastic lies. It works with too many.

I am reminded of the show put on before the kings of Israel and Judah. A host of 400 prophets loyal to Ahab unanimously opposed the warning of God’s prophet Micaiah.

“…all the prophets were prophesying before them. Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, ‘Go…” (I Kings 22:10-12)

The force of these intimidating, swollen, pompous, bombastic lies was brought to bear on Micaiah.

“Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably. But Micaiah said, ‘As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak.’” (I Kings 22:13-14)

How should we respond to “great swelling words”? Micaiah shows us how.

False teachers may sound very intellectual. Their word and demeanor may be exceptionally charismatic. They are often skilled in the use of the tools of their trade.

“By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;” (II Peter 2:3)

“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption;” (I Peter 2:19).

“they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage” (Jude 16),

Yes, they sound impressive, but it is a deadly mistake to follow them. We are commanded to test, to make sure the words taught, no matter how sweet the sound, are words of truth.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world …He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error,” (I John 4:1, 6).


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