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Sunday, March 17 2013
2 Peter: 'The Servants Of Corruption Promise Liberty'
The second epistle of Peter was apparently written soon after the first (see 1 Peter: Be Not Lords Over God's Heritage), not long before his passing: 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). It was a circumstance of impending martyrdom (see the Fact Finder question below to understand how and why Peter died in the way that he did) shared by the apostle Paul during the writing of most of his epistles (e.g. see 2 Corinthians: The Devil's Fight Along The Way). 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."
"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:
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?].
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" (see 2 Thessalonians: The Falling Away Of The Son Of Perdition and the study list below).
"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.
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 (see Did Judas Iscariot Repent?), 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. 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)
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?).
"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:
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.
Studies For The Book Of 2 Peter
Fact Finder: What did the Messiah say about how Peter would die?
This Day In History, March 17
45 BC: Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeians at the battle of Munda in Spain. The Pompeians, led by two sons of Pompey the Great, lost over 30,000 men (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
180: Marcus Aurelius died, thereby leaving Commodus as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire (see Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast).
455: By means of the support of the Roman Senate (see The Politics Of Rome), Petronius Maximus became emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
461: The traditional date of the death of St. Patrick, the "patron saint" of Ireland.
624: Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeated the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1337: Edward III created the Duchy of Cornwall for his eldest son, Edward, who was later made Prince of Wales.
1805: The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as President, was proclaimed to be the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.
1808: The Revolt of Aranjuez; it forced the abdication of Charles IV of Spain.
1861: Victor Emmanuel was proclaimed the first king of Italy, uniting most of Italy under the House of Savoy.
1914: Russia increased the number of active duty military from 460,000 to 1,700,000.
1942: Nazis began deporting Jews to the Belsen concentration camp.
1948: The "Brussels Treaty" was signed by Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. They agreed to take whatever action necessary in the event of a renewal of German aggression, and to come to the defence of each other if attacked by any aggressor in Europe i.e. the Soviet Union. It was a shadow of NATO which came a year later.
1957: An airplane crash in Cebu, Philippines killed Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.
1959: The Dalai Lama fled from Tibet to India.
1969: Golda Meir became the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
1992: In South Africa, a referendum was held to end apartheid.
1992: A suicide car bomb attack on the Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina killed 29 people and injured 242.
2011: During the Libyan civil war, the United Nations Security Council proclaimed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, authorizing UN military intervention to protect civilians in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.