Wells without Water

By Ron Graham

“These are wells without water...” 2 Peter 2:17a. We have a well on our property which on the outside looks the same as most other wells these days. Our well is 518 feet deep, but on the outside it just looks like a pipe sticking out of the ground. Its job, of course, is the same as most other rural country wells, which is to draw water from an underground reservoir and move that water into our home. Many of you reading this commentary may have a very similar looking pipe sticking out of the ground in your yard. Though they may look the same from the outside, the question is, are they?


Our particular well has a problem down inside that deep hole where our transport pipe and pump reside. But only my wife, daughter, and I can see the problem. At times we see the water that comes from the tap as clouded and sometimes it is reddish brown in color. Outsiders who drive by can see our well and pump house but until they live in our home they will not discover for themselves the ugly truth about our drinking, bathing, and laundry water. But the most important thing about our well is that it contains an abundance of water.


In the verse cited above, the Apostle Peter addresses a problem that is occurring more and more as we move into the last days on this planet. That problem is false teachers, he refers to them as “wells without water”. Now there are wells, and there are wells, and what must be determined by the believer is which well are you hook up to. Unless you are aware of the lack of water in a well you might just be persuaded to latch onto one that’s completely empty.


False teachers may look and even sound the same as teachers who proclaim the truth, but inside they are only dry wells. Water being a metaphor for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what Peter is speaking about. False teachers do not have the Holy Spirit of God, they are led by the enemy of God and therefore they are, as the Apostle Peter most appropriately states “wells without water”. A Holy Spirit filled teacher will not teach falsehoods. False teachers may proclaim a portion of truth in their teachings but they are all intertwined in deceptiveness, they are empty vessels.


“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…  2 Peter 2:3. These folks who profess a relationship with our Lord Jesus, yet have no water in their wells, are in virtually every case only in the ministry for what they can materialistically gain.


I know I’ve hit on this subject before and probably will again, but these false teachers are among us today, and in great numbers, which just proves the seriousness of the hour. There are false teachers currently proclaiming damnable heresies, and believers must acknowledge them as such. Their lies are exposed through our knowledge of scripture; in this way all the church can see and not be saddled with, nor lead astray by, their lies.


This particular chapter of Peter’s second epistle is not addressing the possibility of false teachers and false prophets coming among us. On the contrary, Peter is stating a fact, they are among us now. And they are in our Christian Churches doing their damage. Therefore Christians aren’t so much in the “be on the lookout” mode any longer; we are currently in the “damage control” mode. Soon and very soon if we don’t confront this evil we will be in the “run for your lives” mode.


“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…” 2 Peter 2:1. Privily means secretive, but it isn’t that these liars teach in secret, it’s just that their agenda is cloaked in secrecy. Throughout the last 2,000 years, men and women have been tricked and swindled by these heretics. False teachers come and go but by-and-large we will never be without them. Many are here to reap a lifetime of earthly rewards and their consciences are seared with what’s in it for them attitudes.


Just by looking at the outside appearance of a water well isn’t enough to tell us anything about the capacity, efficiency, or lack of water in that well. If you are seeking a refreshing drink of water you’re not going to get it from a dry well. “Wells without water” (false teachers) are abundant, there may be one standing behind the pulpit at your local Church each Sunday, and I promise you they are great at extinguishing your spirit. On the other hand, only a Holy Spirit filled Bible teacher will work at satisfying your spirit’s thirst for the truth.


A huge red flag should go up for the true followers of Jesus Christ whenever someone claims Jesus is anything other than what He claims to be. Sadly, many are seduced into believing lies about Jesus even though they claim to follow Him. The Bible gives us the truth; all we must do is believe the Bible over men and women who continually teach lies. The only reason people follow a person who teaches a lie is because they neglect or reject their own Bibles. Here’s an example, many of these “wells without water” deny the deity of Christ. I’ve encountered many professing believers who blatantly deny Jesus Christ is God Almighty. A major heresy and a damnable one at that, yet they will follow the “wells without water” crowd blindly without ever looking to see if the Holy Spirit of God dwells in them.


“Just because a person has what appears to be a godly walk and relationship with Jesus Christ, they can still be bringing in destructive heresies. Often times, the worst damage is done by a good man who teaches lies. His lies are accepted far more easily because of the good character of the man.” –David Guzik


Our eyes are opened even more about these false teachers as Peter further explains that these “wells without water” are “…even denying the Lord that bought them”. 2 Peter 2:1. They, for all intents and purposes, look to be legitimate and truthful Bible teachers, saved and walking with the Lord, but they deny even “the Lord that brought them”.


I’ve been rebuked in the past by those who claim I’m being remiss in my duties as a watchman on the wall for not bringing into light the names of all those who are false teachers so the uninformed can know who they are. This is simply astonishing to me. How could I possibly name every false teacher out there? Besides, diligent Bible study habits aside, every born again believer “In Christ” is indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God. Thus the Holy Spirit directs us as to what is correct and truthful Bible teaching and what is false.


I’ve heard of many who might fall into the category of false teacher and false prophet, and yet I’ve not seen a need for myself to research them and their teachings. God will reveal their erroneous teachings, if indeed they are teaching erroneously, through His Holy Spirit to anyone who is seeking to know the truth. So, for the purpose of this commentary and many more I plan to write, I will leave the discernment of truthfulness up to all those who are indwelt with God’s Holy Spirit. These commentaries are written as a warning to you, as well as to the non-believers who choose to read them, to investigate the truthfulness, and whether there be water in the well of your favorite Bible teacher. Even non-believers will find the truth when they diligently seek it out.


We can expect a surge in heresy teaching and we are told that even many who’ve had occasion to hear the truth of the Gospel, as well as many professing Christians, will follow these heretics to their own destruction. “And many shall follow their pernicious ways;...” 2 Peter 2:2. Pernicious or destructive, no matter how you slice it they will all be damned to Hell because they chose to believe a false teacher who blasphemes and dishonors God’s Holy name. 


“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11. We should all be just like those Bereans who would not just take Paul and Silas’ word for what the scriptures said, but they went to those very scriptures and read them themselves to see if what they were being taught was truth or lies, a practice we should all adhere to.


As Peter continues his 2nd Epistle he tells us of the harshness of the judgment that will befall false teachers. “…whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:3. You and I may see them prospering and becoming wealthier and much more affluent than we could even imagine. We may sit bewildered as to why they prosper as we watch them fill their bank accounts with all their treasures. But what God is doing behind the scenes is allowing them to heap up for themselves treasures here on earth, continuing in this same manner they will only cement their condemnation for eternity. Don’t envy these folks and their wealth for their end is destruction of the eternal kind.


Remember what Peter is telling us “These are wells without water...” 2 Peter 2:17a. The Holy Spirit is absent in the lives of these heretics. By deceiving the masses they have blasphemed God because they aren’t listening to His Holy Spirit. By not listening to His Holy Spirit and by falsifying His word they’ve condemned themselves. This condemnation is building to a crescendo that will result in the most horrible finale. And, as they continue and prosper more and more, one day their final reward will be realized, but it won’t be what they’ve been expecting.


The warning is to be sure you have the Holy Spirit residing in you and that you are in tune to His lead. This way you aren’t going to be drawn to the false teachings of the damned, Hell bound liars who only wish to prosper at your expense. Water wells are very similar in appearance, yet some are empty, devoid of water (the Holy Spirit). So the question remains, how’s the “Water” in your well?


God bless you all,


Ron Graham


All scripture is from the KJV