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Wednesday, September 19 2012

The Epistles: Second Peter

Studies in this complete Epistles series:
What Is An Epistle? Luke Acts Romans First Corinthians
Second Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians
First Thessalonians Second Thessalonians First Timothy Second Timothy Titus
Philemon Hebrews James First Peter Second Peter
First John Second John Third John Jude Revelation


Peter's second epistle (see also The Epistles: First Peter) was written apparently not long before his martyrdom (1:14 "Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me" 2 Peter 1:14 KJV), a circumstance shared by the apostle Paul during the writing of most of his epistles. In that regard, Peter, like Paul, wasn't merely philosophizing a morality in what he was writing; he was living the overcoming as he was teaching it - "giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."

The Crucifixion Of Peter

"1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?], to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall [see Works Means Obedience and What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?]: 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:1-11 KJV)

Peter's "Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me" may be dual in meaning. The Messiah had long before told Peter how he would die (see the Fact Finder question below). The LORD may also have then warned Peter that the day was near.

"1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle [see Written In The Heart Of Our Tabernacles], to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. 1:15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." (2 Peter 1:12-15 KJV)

Peter taught the Word of God, not the word of any man, including himself: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." Everything was based upon Holy Scripture for authority.

"1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables [see The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans], when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount [see What Did Peter and John See That Others Didn't?].

1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts [see also The First Rock Star]: 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:16-21 KJV)

"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"

The worst situation that anyone can ever be in is in a fallen-away state after the Truth has come to them. All too often, the corruption comes by means of those who themselves who aren't merely preaching error, but are preaching rebellion (i.e. the common "God's Law is done away" abomination) - those whose "damnation slumbereth not."

Sodomites

"2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you [see The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans], who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of [see Blaspheming The Name Of God]. 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you [see Is Your Church A Cult?]: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV)

The incineration of Sodom was an object lesson, "making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly." Those who fall away from the Truth become as Sodom in the eyes of the LORD.

"2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked [see A Biography Of Abraham: The Battles Of Sodom]: 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.

Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 2:12 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; 2:13 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; 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?]: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 2:15 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; 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet." (2 Peter 2:4-16 KJV)

Again, Peter emphasized the dire warning, "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." Peter no doubt classified the traitor Judas in that way, but he warned that there are many who "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption."

"2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 2:19 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. 2:20 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. 2:21 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 [see also The Long Shadow Of Judas]. 2:22 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." (2 Peter 17-22 KJV)

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day"

Many have mocked the Word of God, in ancient times, and in the present day. As far as their judgment is concerned, they were and all living in the same day. Peter's "there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts" applied as much in his day as today (see Could Christ Return Tonight?).

Earth

"3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day [see What Is The Day Of The LORD? and When Is The LORD's Day?]. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:1-9 KJV)

The "Day of the LORD" will mark the beginning of the Messiah's 1,000-year "day" rule on Earth (again, see What Is The Day Of The LORD?). At the end of that 1,000 years, the Earth will be purified with fire, as the final preparation for the coming of The Father to Earth (see The Church: Mission Accomplished).

"3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up [see The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?]. 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:10-13 KJV)

Salvation is open to everyone who repents and truly obeys the LORD. The Law of the LORD is the basis of getting to the Kingdom of God (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners). The Law of the LORD will be what makes eternal life the Paradise that it will be (see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God).

"3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless [see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin, The Church In The End Time and The Church In The Kingdom Of God]. 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ [see Who Is The LORD?]. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:14-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did the Messiah say about how Peter would die?
See Why Was Peter Crucified?


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This Day In History, September 19

335: Flavius Dalmatius was declared a "Caesar" by his uncle Constantine (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1356: During the Hundred Years War, the English under Prince Edward defeated French forces under John II at Poitiers. The French king was captured in the battle and released 4 years later.

1665: In London, England, the official death toll from the plague was reported to be 10,000 people per week.

1676: The colony of Jamestown was burned by the rebel forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon's Rebellion.

1783: After their first-in-history unmanned balloon flight 3 months earlier, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier of Versailles, France, launched the first balloon flight with "passengers" - a sheep, a rooster and a duck.

1870: During the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussians began their siege of Paris.

1881: U.S. President James Garfield died of a gunshot wound from his July 2 shooting.

1893: Women in New Zealand were given the right to vote.

1918: Near the end of the First World War, British General Edmund Allenby won a crucial battle over the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Megiddo ("Armageddon") in what was then northern "Palestine" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

1939: Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) decided to incorporate much of Poland into Germany, move 600,000 Jews from there (and those in Germany as well) into a Polish rump called the "General Government", and ghetto all Jews within it at convenient points along the railways. This brought into the coming holocaust the huge German railway system, the Reichsbahn.

1957: The U.S. began conducting weapons of mass destruction tests at the underground nuclear bomb test facility in the Nevada desert.

1971: William F. Albright died at age 81. The history professor and archaeologist wrote extensively of many places of Bible history. He also conducted research digs at numerous locations including Bethel and Gibeah in Israel and Petra in Jordan.

1978: The Solomon Islands became a member of the United Nations.

1985: An earthquake killed thousands of people in Mexico City.

2006: Thai military forces staged a coup in Bangkok.


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