2 Peter

by Ken Cayce

© Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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2 Peter Explained

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Book of 2 Peter Explained

Title: The clear claim to authorship in 1:1 by the Apostle Peter gives the epistle its title. To distinguish it from Peter's first epistle, it was given the Greek title œPetrou B¯, or 2 Peter.

Author " Date : The author of 2 Peter is the Apostle Peter (see introduction to 1 Peter). In 1:1, he makes that claim; in 3:1, he refers to his first letter; in 1:14, he refers to the Lord's prediction of his death (John 21:18-19); and in 1:16-18), he claims to have been at the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-4). However, critics have generated more controversy over 2 Peter's authorship and rightful place in the canon of Scripture than over any other New Testament book. The church fathers were slow in giving it their acceptance. No church father refers to 2 Peter by name until Origen near the beginning of the third century. The ancient church historian, Eusebius, only included 2 Peter in his list of disputed books, along with James, Jude, 2 John, and 3 John. Even the leading Reformers only hesitatingly accepted it.

The question about differences in Greek style between the two letters has been satisfactorily answered. Peter wrote that he used an amanuensis, Silvanus, in 1 Peter (compare 1 Peter 5:12). In 2 Peter, Peter either used a different amanuensis or wrote the letter by himself. The differences in vocabulary between the two letters can be explained by the differences in theme. 1 Peter was written to help suffering Christians, 2 Peter was written to expose false teachers. On the other hand, there are remarkable similarities in the vocabulary of the two books. The salutation, œgrace and peace be multiplied to you¯, is essentially the same in each book. The author uses such words as œprecious¯, œvirtue¯, œputting off¯, and œeyewitness¯, to name just a few examples, in both letters. Certain rather unusual words found in 2 Peter are also found in Peter's speeches in the Acts of the Apostles. These include œreceived¯ (1:1; Acts 1:17); œgodliness¯ or œpiety¯ (1:3, 6-7; 3:11; Acts 3:12); and œprice¯ or œwages¯ of wickedness or unrighteousness (2:13, 15; Acts 1:18). Both letters also refer to the same Old Testament event (2:5; 1 Peter 3:18-20). Some scholars have pointed out that there are as many similarities in vocabulary between 1 and 2 Peter as there are between 1 Timothy and Titus, two letters almost universally believed to have been written by Paul.

The differences in themes also explain certain emphases, such as why one letter teaches that the second coming is near, and one deals with its delay. 1 Peter, ministering especially to suffering Christians, focuses on the immanency of Christ as a means of encouraging the Christians. 2 Peter, dealing with scoffers, emphasizes the reasons why that imminent return of Christ has not yet occurred. Other proposed differences invented by the critics, such as the contradiction between including the resurrection of Christ in one letter and the Transfiguration of Christ in the other, seem to be contrived.

Moreover, it is seemingly irrational that a false teacher would spuriously write a letter against false teachers. No unusual, new, or false doctrines appear in 2 Peter. So, if 2 Peter were a forgery, it would be a forgery written by a fool for no reason at all. This is too much to believe. The conclusion to the question of authorship is that, when the writer introduced the letter and referred to himself as Peter, he was writing the truth.

Nero died in A.D. 68, and tradition says Peter died in Nero's persecution. The epistle may have been written just before his death (1:14; ca. A.D. 67-68).

Background " Setting: Since the time of the writing and sending his first letter, Peter had become increasingly concerned about false teachers who were infiltrating the churches in Asia Minor. Though these false teachers had already caused trouble, Peter expected that their heretical doctrines and immoral life-styles would result in more damage in the future. Thus Peter, in an almost last will and testament (1:13-15), wrote to warn the beloved believers in Christ about the doctrinal dangers they were facing.

Peter does not explicitly say where he was when he wrote this letter, as he does in 1 Peter (1 Peter 5:13). But the consensus seems to be that Peter wrote this letter from prison in Rome, where he was facing imminent death. Shortly after this letter was written, Peter was martyred, according to reliable tradition, by being crucified upside down (see note on John 21;18-19).

Peter says nothing in the salutation about the recipients of this letter. But according to 3:1, Peter was writing another epistle to the same people to whom he wrote 1 Peter. In his first letter, he spelled out that he was writing œto those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (1 Peter 1:1). These provinces were located in an area of Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey. The Christians to whom Peter wrote were mostly Gentiles (see note on 1:1).

Historical " Theological Themes: 2 Peter was written for the purpose of exposing, thwarting, and defeating the invasion of false teachers into the church. Peter intended to instruct Christians in how to defend themselves against these false teachers and their deceptive lies. This book is the most graphic and penetrating expose of false teachers in Scripture, comparable only to Jude.

The description of the false teachers is somewhat generic. Peter does not identify some specific false religion, cult, or system of teaching. In a general characterization of false teachers, he informs that they teach destructive heresies. They deny Christ and twist the Scriptures. They bring true faith into disrepute. And they mock the second coming of Christ. But Peter was just as concerned to show the immoral character of these teachers as he was to expose their teaching. Thus, he describes them in more detail than he describes their doctrines. Wickedness is not the product of sound doctrine, but of œdestructive heresies¯ (2:1).

Other themes for this letter can be discerned in the midst of Peter's polemic against the false teachers. He wanted to motivate his readers to continue to develop their Christian character (1:5-11). In so doing, he explains wonderfully how a believer can have assurance of his salvation. Peter also wanted to persuade his readers of the divine character of the apostolic writings (1:12-21). Near the end of the letter, he presents reasons for the delay in Christ' second coming (3:1-13).

Another recurring theme is the importance of knowledge. The word, œknowledge¯, appears in some form 16 times in these 3 short chapters. It is not too much to say that Peter's primary solution to false teaching is knowledge of true doctrine. Other distinctive features of 2 Peter include a precise statement on the divine origin of Scripture (1:20-21); the future destruction of the world by fire (3:8-13); and the recognition of Paul's letters as inspired Scripture (3:15-16).


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2 Peter 1
2 Peter 2
2 Peter 3

2 Peter 1

2 Peter Chapter 1

We will find in this second letter that Peter wrote a warning against false teachers. Peter wrote the letter probably somewhere between 67 and 68 A.D.

In verses 1-2, Peter identifies himself using the Aramaic "Sumeon" rather than the more familiar Greek Simon. He describes himself as "a servant" (Greek doulos, literally "slave"), and as "an apostle", one sent with a commission.

2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:"

"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle": Peter identifies himself with a balance of humility and dignity. As a servant, he was on equal basis with other Christians, an obedient slave of Jesus Christ. As an apostle, he was unique, divinely called, and commissioned as an eyewitness to the resurrection of Christ.

Simon was the name he had been known by, before he met and followed Jesus. The name Peter had been given him by Jesus. "Peter" means a rock. This is a general letter to Jew and Gentile who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. Peter was very aware of the great price the Lord Jesus paid to purchase his salvation.

Peter thought of himself as a slave, because Jesus bought and paid for him with His precious blood. "Apostle", as we have said before, means ambassador. Salvation is a gift from God and Peter makes that statement here, when he says "obtained like precious faith". We receive the righteousness of Christ, when we receive Jesus as our Savior.

"To them": The recipients of this letter are the same as those who received Peter's first letter (3:1; 1 Peter 1:1).

"Obtained" or received. An uncommon word often referring to obtaining something by lot (Acts 1:17). It can mean "attaining by divine will." Here, Peter was emphasizing that salvation was not attained by personal effort, skill, or worthiness, but came purely from God's grace.

"Faith": Peter is speaking of a subjective faith, i.e., the Christian's power to believe for his salvation. Faith is the capacity to believe (Eph. 2:8-9). Even though faith and belief express the human side of salvation, God still must grant that faith. God initiates faith when the Holy Spirit awakens the dead soul in response to hearing the Word of God. (Acts 11:21; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:2).

"Like precious faith": Generally, the Greek word which is translated "of the same kind" was used to designate equal in rank, position, honor, standing, price, or value. It was used in the ancient world with strangers and foreigners who were given equal citizenship in a city. Here, Peter was emphasizing that Christians have all received the same priceless saving faith.

There are no first and second class Christians in spiritual, racial, or gender distinctions (Galatians 3:28). Since Peter was writing to mostly Gentiles, he may have been emphasizing that they have received the same faith as the Jews (Acts 10:44-48; 11:17-18).

"Through the righteousness": Peter's point is that believers share the equal gift of salvation because God's righteousness is imputed to them. That righteousness recognizes no distinction between people except that the sins of some are more heinous than others. So, not only do they have faith because God gives it to them, they are saved only because God imputes righteousness to them (Rom. 3:26; 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:8-9).

"Of God and our Savior Jesus Christ": The Greek construction has only one article before this phrase, making the entire phrase refer to the same person. Thus, Peter is identifying Jesus Christ as both Savior and God (Isaiah 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21; 60:16; Romans 9:5; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8).

We give our sin to Jesus, and He gives us His righteousness. The only way that faith comes after righteousness is when we receive the gift of faith. It takes faith to receive the righteousness of Christ. This is the faith that is activated within ourselves. The faith, here, is the abundance of faith that we receive as a gift of the Spirit.

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

"Knowledge": This is a strengthened form of "knowledge" implying a larger, more thorough, and intimate knowledge. The Christian's precious faith is built on knowing the truth about God (verse 3). Christianity is not a mystical religion, but is based in objective, historical, revealed, rational truth from God and intended to be understood and believed. The deeper and wider that knowledge of the Lord, the more "grace and peace" are multiplied.

This is a blessing Peter speaks on those who believe. The more you know of Jesus, the more peace and grace you have. Jesus is King of Peace. When we are full of Jesus, we are full of peace. Knowledge is accumulated learning.

Verses 3-4: "His divine power": is a title for God used by Jews who revered Him so much that they would not pronounce His name.

2 Peter 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:"

"His divine power": "His" refers to Jesus Christ. Christ's power is the source of the believer's sufficiency and perseverance (Matt. 24:30; Mark 5:30; Luke 4:14; 5:17; Rom. 1:4; 2 Cor. 12:9).

"That pertain unto life": The genuine Christian is eternally secure in his salvation and will preserve and grow because he has received everything necessary to sustain eternal life through Christ's power.

There is no need for a Christian to fear. The things of this world are for our benefit, not for our harm. He thought so much of us that He made the world and all that is in it, and on it, for the benefit of man. He prepared the earth for man to inhabit. Then He made man.

We have all the goodness of the earth to draw from, if we receive the knowledge of God and use it according to His will. The power to use the blessings comes from us knowing the power in the name of Jesus. He gave us the earth to use, not to abuse. Jesus called us to receive His glory and virtue.

"Godliness": To be godly is to live reverently, loyally and obediently toward God. Peter means that the genuine believer ought not to ask God for something more (as if something necessary to sustain his growth, strength and perseverance was missing), to become godly. Because he already has every spiritual resource to manifest, sustain, and perfect godly living.

"Knowledge of him": "Knowledge" is a key word in 2 Peter (verses 2, 5, 6, 8; 2:20; 3:18). Throughout Scripture, it implies an intimate knowledge (Amos 3:2). The knowledge of Christ emphasized here is not a superficial knowledge, or a mere surface awareness of the facts about Christ, but a genuine, personal sharing of life with Christ, based on repentance from sin and personal faith in Him (Matt. 7:21).

When we come to the knowledge of God, we receive Jesus as Savior and all the earth is subject to the name of Jesus. We have been given power to use that name on the earth. The part in this that we play, other than accepting Jesus as our Savior, is to walk in the salvation He has provided for us. "Virtuous" means we are faithful to Jesus and His teachings.

"Called us to glory and virtue": This call, as always when mentioned in the New Testament epistles; is the effectual call to salvation (1 Peter 1:15; 2:21; 5:10). This saving call is based on the sinner's understanding of Christ's revealed majesty and moral excellence evidencing that He is Lord and Savior. This implies that there must be a clear presentation of Christ's person and work as the God-Man in evangelism, which attracts men to salvation (1 Cor. 2:1-2). The cross and resurrection most clearly reveal His "glory and excellence."

2 Peter 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."

"Great and precious promises": That is, the promises of abundant and eternal life.

"Partakers of the divine nature": This expression is not different from the concepts of being born again, born from above (John 3:3; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23), being in Christ (Rom. 8:1), or being the home of the Trinity (John 14:17-23). The precious promises of salvation result in becoming God's children in the present age (John 1:2; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27), and thereby sharing in God's nature by the possession of His eternal life.

Christians do not become little gods, but they are "new creatures" (2 Cor. 5:17), and have the Holy Spirit living in them (1 Cor. 6: 19-20). Moreover, believers will partake of the divine nature in a greater way when they bear a glorified body like Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3).

"Escaped the corruption": The word "corruption" has the idea of something decomposing or decaying. "Escaped" depicts a successful flight from danger. At the time of salvation, the believer escapes from the power which the rottenness in the world has over him through his fallen, sinful nature.

The promises God made to Abraham are for all who believe in Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

It is our faith in Christ that makes us heirs along with faithful Abraham. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto Him as righteousness. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are clothed in His righteousness. The entire New Testament is a list of the promises made to the believer. To inherit the promises, we must prove we are sons of God.

Christians are followers of, and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to become Christ-like. We, in fact, must let Christ live in us and through us. We are His hands upon this earth. When we get to heaven, we will be like Him.

1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

This Scripture just means that we will take on His nature (in our spiritual body). We have crucified our flesh and the lusts of the flesh, and have taken on Christ.

Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Verses 5-7: In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. "Add to your faith" indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. "Virtue" is moral excellence. "Knowledge" is spiritual truth. "Temperance" is self-control. "Patience" is endurance. "Godliness" is godlikeness. "Brotherly kindness (Greek philadelphian), is brotherly love. "Charity" (Greek agape), is volitional love. This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers.

2 Peter 1:5 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;"

Because of all the God given blessings (in verses 3-4), the believer cannot be indifferent or self-satisfied. Such an abundance of divine grace calls for total dedication.

"Giving all diligence": That is, making maximum effort. The Christian life is not lived to the honor of God without effort. Even though God has poured His divine power into the believer, the Christian himself is required to make every disciplined effort alongside of what God has done (Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:28-29).

"Add to your faith virtue": Another way of putting this is "In your faith supply". "Supply" is to give lavishly and generously. In Greek culture, the word was used for a choirmaster who was responsible for supplying everything that was needed for his choir. The word never meant to equip sparingly, but to supply lavishly for a noble performance.

God has given us faith and all the graces necessary for godliness (verses 3-4). We add to those by our diligent devotion to personal righteousness.

First in Peter's list of virtues is a word that, in classical Greek, meant the God-given ability to perform heroic deeds. It also came to mean that quality of life which made someone stand out as excellent. It never meant cloistered excellence, or excellence of attitude, but excellence which is demonstrated in life. Peter is here writing of moral energy, the power that performs deeds of excellence.

"Knowledge": This means understanding, correct insight, truth properly comprehended and applied. This virtue involves a diligent study and pursuit of truth in the Word of God.

We should earnestly try to please God in all that we do. "To be diligent in our work" would mean that we are totally dedicated to the task at hand. We should not only be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word as well. The walk of a Christian must be virtuous. We must walk holy before our Lord.

To walk virtuous would mean that we had determined in our heart to do right before our God. To be virtuous, without the knowledge of what God's will is, is impossible. To walk in the will of God, we must know what His will is. We learn what His will is by studying His Word. Knowledge of the Word of God gives us the ability to know what His will is.

2 Peter 1:6 "And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;"

When we walk in the knowledge of the Word of God, we will be temperate in all things. "Temperance", in this instance, means self-control. It also means moderately. The way I like to say this is, "let your spirit control your flesh". Patience is a lesson hard learned. Patience comes through tribulation.

"Self-control": Literally "holding oneself in." In Peter's day, self-control was used of athletes who were to be self-restrained and self-disciplined. Thus, a Christian is to control the flesh, the passions, and the bodily desires, rather than allowing himself to be controlled by them (1 Cor. 9:27; Gal. 5:23). Moral excellence, guided by knowledge, disciplines desire and makes it the servant, not the master, of one's life.

"Patience": That is, patience or endurance in doing what is right, never giving in to temptation or trial. Perseverance is that spiritual staying power that will die before it gives in. It is the virtue which can endure, not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant hope.

Turning your will over to God and allowing Him to have control of your life, leads to godliness.

2 Peter 1:7 "And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."

"Brotherly kindness": Literally brotherly affection, mutual sacrifice for one another (1 John 4:20). Charity is love (see 1 Cor. 13 which is the love chapter).

All of this is explaining the growing in grace that a Christian must do.

Jesus said in 1 John 4:20 "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"

"Charity" here, was translated from the word "agape", which means a special love. It is like the love of God. It is love not because of what you can do for me, but love wanting nothing in return.

2 Peter 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."

"Neither be barren" meaning to be inactive, indolent, and empty (Titus 1:12; James 2:20-22). With these virtues increasing in one's life (verses 5-7), a Christian will not be useless or ineffective.

"Nor unfruitful": Meaning unproductive (Matt. 13:22; Eph. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:14; Jude 12). When these Christian qualities are not present in a believer's life (verses 5-7), he will be indistinguishable from an evildoer or a superficial believer. But when these qualities are increasing in a Christian's life, there is the manifestation of the "divine nature" within the believer.

If these things be in you, you are full of Christ. In the process, you have taken on the nature of Christ. When you take Christ on in His fullness like is spoken of here, you have taken on the mind of Christ. You are allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you all things.

Your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ will be full, because He dwells within you. The name "Lord Jesus Christ" means that you have accepted Him as your Savior and your Lord. You also realize, He is the Anointed One of God, the Messiah.

2 Peter 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."

"These things are those mentioned (in verses 5-7).

"Blind and cannot see afar off": A professing Christian who is missing the virtues mentioned above is, therefore, unable to discern his true spiritual condition, and thus can have no assurance of his salvation.

"Forgotten": The failure to diligently pursue spiritual virtues produces spiritual amnesia. Such a person, unable to discern his spiritual condition, will have no confidence about his profession of faith. He may be saved and possess all the blessing of verses 3-4, but without the excellences of verses 5-7, he will live in doubt and fear.

It is a very dangerous thing not to grow in God. The one-time experience of salvation is not enough. We are either growing in Christ, or we are going backwards. We will never stand still. Notice, the word "old" connected to sins. To live as the world lives after you are saved, will draw you away from your salvation.

Salvation is a daily walk through life, growing each day more like Jesus. To do anything else will not work. We can be blinded by the world, if we are not careful, and forget the forgiveness we received in Christ.

Verses 10-11: "Ye shall never fall". The author is not referring to falling from salvation, but to failure in Christian living.

"The everlasting kingdom" refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus, the one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven.

2 Peter 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:"

"Give diligence to make your calling and election sure": This expresses the bull's eye Peter has been shooting at (in verses 5-9). Though God is "certain" who His elect are and has given them an eternally secure salvation, the Christian might not always have assurance of his salvation. Security is the Holy Spirit revealed fact that salvation is forever. Assurance is one's confidence that he possesses that eternal salvation.

In other words, the believer who pursues the spiritual qualities mentioned above guarantees to himself by spiritual fruit that he was called (Rom. 8:30; 1 Peter 2:21), and chosen (1 Peter 1:2), by God to salvation.

"Never fall": As the Christian pursues the qualities enumerated by Peter (verses 5-7), and sees that his life is useful and fruitful (verse 8), he will not stumble into doubt, despair, fear, or questioning, but enjoy assurance that he is saved.

We must take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.

John 8:12 " Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

This is just saying, make up your mind to walk with Jesus and never wander away from that walk. If I am in Jesus, and He is in me, I cannot fall.

2 Peter 1:11 "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Entrance ... ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom": Dedicated Christians, who grow and become fruitful, cultivating through God's provision and power the prime qualities of faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and brotherly love, will never stumble or fall.

Peter piles up the words to bring joy to the weary Christian's heart. An abundant entrance into eternal heaven is the hope and reality for a Christian who lives a faithful, fruitful life here on earth. Peter's point is that a Christian who pursues the list virtues (verses 5-7), will not only enjoy assurance in the present, but a full, rich reward in the future life (1 Cor. 4:5; Rev. 22:12). A full reward awaits the faithful, godly believer in Christ's ever-lasting kingdom (see Eph. 2:6-7).

There is only one way to heaven. It is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Daniel 7:27 "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."

Jesus opened the way for all who would believe, when He gave His body on the cross. The door to heaven and the throne of God was opened, when the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom. Jesus opened that door for us.

Matthew 27:51 "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"

There is only one thing that will get you to heaven. Look, with me, at the next verses which explain it so well.

Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

2 Peter Chapter 1 Questions

  1. What is the theme of this second letter?
  2. Who wrote this letter?
  3. Approximately when was this letter written?
  4. When was the name Simon used for Peter?
  5. What is the meaning of the name "Peter"?
  6. Who was this letter written to?
  7. Why did Peter think of himself as a slave?
  8. What does "apostle" mean?
  9. When do we receive righteousness?
  10. What blessing did Peter speak on them?
  11. What is knowledge?
  12. Why should the Christian not fear?
  13. What did God do for man, even before He made man?
  14. What does "virtuous" mean?
  15. What must we do to receive the inheritance God has given us?
  16. What are we to add to our faith?
  17. What would it mean "to be diligent in our work"?
  18. What must we first do to walk in the will of God?
  19. How do we know what His will is?
  20. What does "temperance" in verse 6 mean?
  21. What was the word "charity", in verse 7, translated from?
  22. What does "agape" mean?
  23. In the process of growth as a Christian, we have taken on the ________ of Christ.
  24. How can we be blinded, if we are a Christian?
  25. What cleanses us from all sin?
  26. Who is our Way to heaven?
  27. When was the door to the throne of God opened to us?

2 Peter Chapter 1 Continued

Verses 12-13: "I will not be negligent": Truth always needs repetition because believers forget so easily (2 Thess. 2:5; Jude 5).

2 Peter 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."

In the last lesson, we learned that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Those who are truly saved are taking up their cross daily and walking in the footprints of Jesus here on the earth. We also learned some of the character traits of those who follow Jesus. Some of the character traits are faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, kindness, charity, and godliness.

Peter is reminding them of these things, so that they will not be negligent in keeping them. He says that they are already aware of this, but he is just reminding them, so they will grow in the Lord. "To be established in the truth", means you are daily studying God's Word and growing in that knowledge. To do otherwise, would make you a backslider.

Verses 13-14 "This tabernacle" which is literally "his body": Death is described aptly as laying asides one's earthly dwelling (2 Cor. 5:1). Peter was likely in his seventies as he wrote this letter (likely from a Roman prison), and anticipated dying soon. Nero's persecution had begun and he was martyred in it, soon after writing this epistle. Tradition says he was crucified upside down, refusing to be crucified like his Lord.

2 Peter 1:13 "Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance;"

"Meet" means, is right.

Peter is speaking of the tabernacle of his body. He knows it is important to not only be saved, but to stay saved. Walk daily in the salvation you have received. Since Christ gave him such authority in the church, he was obligated to keep reminding them how important it is to walk uprightly before the Lord.

2 Peter 1:14 "Knowing that shortly I must put off [this] my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me."

Peter was aware that not too long hence he would be dead. He was speaking to them while he could. The Lord had shown Peter that he would die the martyr's death almost 40 years earlier. History tells us that he was crucified upside down.

Verses 14-15: "Shortly I must put off this my tabernacle" refers to Peter's impending death, which the Lord had predicted (in John 21:18-19). Thus, Peter urges his readers to remember his testimony after he has died.

2 Peter 1:15 "Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance."

"After my decease": Peter wanted to make certain that after he died, God's people would have a permanent reminder of the truth, thus he penned this inspired letter.

A written message like this could be read over and over. It was not like a spoken message that just had use for the one message. In fact, even hundreds of years later, until our very time, it is useful to all Christians.

Verses 16-18: Peter claims to have been one of the "eyewitnesses of his majesty" at the transfiguration of Christ, when He was revealed to Peter, James and John in all His glory (Matthew 17:1-8).

2 Peter 1:16 "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

"Cunningly devised fables": The word here was used to refer to mythical stories about gods and miracles (1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14). Realizing that false leaders and their followers would try to discredit this letter, and that he was probably already being accused of concocting tales and myths in order to get people to follow him so he could amass wealth, power and prestige as false teachers were motivated to do. Peter gave evidences in the following verses to prove that he wrote the truth of God as a genuinely inspired writer.

"Made known": This word is a somewhat technical term for imparting a new revelation, something previously hidden, but now revealed.

"The power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ": Since there is only one definite article with this phrase, the meaning is, "the powerful coming," or "the coming in power." The false teachers who were opposing Peter had tried to debunk the doctrine of the second coming of Christ (see 3:3-4), about which Peter had spoken and written (1 Peter 1:3-7, 13; 4:13).

"Eyewitnesses of His majesty": The "we" that begins this verse refers to the apostles. In one sense, all of the apostles had been eyewitnesses to Christ's majesty, especially His miracles, resurrection body, and ascension into heaven. Peter however, is referring to a more specific event which he will describe in the next verse. The kingdom splendor of Christ revealed at this event was intended as a preview of His majesty to be manifested at His second coming (Matt. 16:28).

The Transfiguration was a glimpse of the glory to be unveiled at the final revelation, the apocalypse of Christ (Rev. 1:1). It must be noted that Jesus' earthly ministry of healing, teaching, and gathering souls into His kingdom was a preview of the character of the earthly kingdom He will establish at His return.

Transfiguration of Christ: (In Matthew chapter 17), Jesus was temporarily glorified in the presence of three disciples. This was a foreshadowing of Christ's coming in power and glory to establish His kingdom. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain represented all those who enter the kingdom by death or translation. The declaration of the Father reinforces Christ's dominion over His kingdom. Since Christians live expectantly looking forward to the return of Christ, they ought to give Him first place in their lives today, just as He will have in the kingdom.

Power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ": Peter reminds his readers that at the Transfiguration, they beheld Christ's dynamic power and majestic "coming" (Greek parousia, the same word used for both the Rapture and the Glorious Appearing). This scene was a foretaste of His glory to be revealed at His second coming.

Peter is explaining to them that the things he tells them are not things that he has heard, but are things he actually saw. He was one of the three apostles closest to the Lord Jesus. Peter, James, and John were with Jesus at the transfiguration. They had been with Jesus some times when the others were not. They had heard the voice of God the Father, who said this is my beloved Son.

They knew even better than the others who Jesus really was and is. They had seen Him in His magnificence at the transfiguration. Peter was trying to warn them to stay strong in the Lord, and not make the mistake he had made when he denied Jesus. Peter's knowledge was first-hand knowledge; he had been there when Jesus taught these truths.

Peter had seen the miracles Jesus had done. Peter knew first-hand that He rose from death. Peter was there when Jesus walked on the water. He was there when Jesus calmed the angry sea. He knew that Jesus caused Lazarus to rise from the dead. We could go on and on. All of Peter's knowledge was not hearsay. He was there when it happened.

2 Peter 1:17 "For he received from God the Father honor 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."

This is a reference to the glory cloud on the Mount of Transfiguration from which God spoke to the disciple (Matt. 17:5).

"This is my beloved Son": This means, "This One is in essence with Me." The Father is thus affirming the deity of Christ (Matt. 17:5; Luke 9:27-36).

The most outstanding thing to Peter, in all of this, was the moment of transfiguration, when the glory of God appeared on the mount, and Peter, James, and John heard the Father speak of Jesus as His Son, in whom He was well pleased.

Matthew 17:5-8 "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." "And when the disciples heard [it], they fell on their face, and were sore afraid." "And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid." "And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only."

This showed them Jesus in His glory.

2 Peter 1:18 "And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount."

"When we were with Him": Peter implied that there was no reason to believe the false teachers, who denied the majesty and second coming of Christ, since they were not on the Mount of Transfiguration to see the preview of the kingdom and glory of Christ, as he, James and John were.

This is just explaining that the voice was an audible voice from heaven, and that all three of them heard it.

Verses 19-21: "A more sure word of prophecy" refers to the infallibility of Scripture as the greatest and clearest revelation of God to man. "Prophecy" may be used here as a general term for divine revelation. "Private interpretation" means "origination." Thus, true revelation does not originate by the "will of man." It comes from God Himself through "holy men" who were godly human instruments of recording God's massage (see 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:16).

"Moved by the Holy Ghost" describes the process of revelation and inspiration. "Moved" means to the "carried along as a sailboat in the wind." Thus, human beings were so moved by the Holy Spirit that what they wrote was God's inerrant Word.

2 Peter 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:"

"More sure word of prophecy": God's prophetic Word is more complete, authoritative, and permanent that the most profound spiritual experiences, even that the Transfiguration beheld by Peter. The Word of God is the light and lamp of divine revelation, shining in a world filled with spiritual darkness (Eph. 5:11; 6:12; Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 5:4-5; 1 Peter 2:9).

The prophetic word refers not just to the Old Testament major and Minor Prophets, but to the entire Old Testament. Of course, all of the Old Testament was written by "prophets" in the truest sense, since they spoke and wrote God's Word, which was the task of a prophet, and they looked forward, in some sense, to the coming Messiah (Luke 24:27).

"A more sure word": This translation could indicate that the eyewitness account of Christ's majesty at the Transfiguration confirmed the Scriptures. However, the Greek word order is crucial in that it does not say that. It says, "And we have more sure the prophetic word." That original arrangement of the sentence supports the interpretation that Peter is ranking Scripture over experience.

The prophetic word (Scripture), is more complete, more permanent, and more authoritative than the experience of anyone. More specifically, the Word of God is a more reliable verification of the teachings about the person, atonement, and second coming of Christ than even the genuine first hand experiences of the apostles themselves.

"Ye do well that ye take heed": Peter was warning believers that since they would be exposed to false teachers, they must pay careful attention to Scripture.

"A light that shineth in a dark place": The murky darkness of this fallen world keeps people from seeing the truth until the light shines. The light is the lamp of revelation, the Word of God (Psalm 119:105; John 17:17).

Believers will have a new understanding in their hearts of the magnitude of His future revelation in glory, as represented by the arising of "the day dawn, and the day star," clear expressions of the coming of Christ.

Peter says here, that the Word of prophecy fulfilled in Jesus Christ is even greater evidence than the transfiguration. Jesus is the Light of the world. The world was lost before the Light (Jesus Christ), came to save us.

Psalms 119:105 - "Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

The Word of God, both spoken and written, are the light that directs us unto all Truth. When you accept Jesus as your Savior and He comes to dwell within you, you are filled with the source of all Light. This Light does away with all darkness. Salvation occurs in the heart. This Light shines in the heart of the Christian.

"The day dawn, and the day star arise": These simultaneous images mark the parousia, i.e., the appearing of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:78; Rev. 2:28; 22.16).

Jesus is this Day Star. Without this Light, there is no life. The Light of Jesus gives everything the power to be. Darkness is symbolic of evil and of Lucifer. Lucifer pretends to be the light, but is not. "Day star", in this instance, means bearer of the Light.

"In your hearts": The second coming will have not only an externally transforming impact on the universe (3:7-13), but also an internally transforming impact on those believers who are alive when Jesus returns, forever removing any of their remaining doubts. The perfect, but limited revelation of the Scriptures will be replaced with the perfect and complete revelation of Jesus Christ at the second coming (John 14:7-11; 21:25).

Then the Scriptures will have been fulfilled; and believers, made like Christ (1 John 3:1-2), will have perfect knowledge and all prophecy will be abolished.

2 Peter 1:20 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."

"Knowing this first": A call to recognize His truth as priority, namely that Scripture is not of human origin.

"Prophecy of the scripture" This phrase includes not only specific prophetic teachings, but the totality of God's grand revelation of Himself and His plan for time and eternity in the entire Word of God. No Scripture was privately originated in human will, released from a mere human mind, or understood by one's own power. Scripture is not the product of mere human interpretation of historical events, but the result of God's own initiative.

"Of any private interpretation": The Greek word for "interpretation" has the idea of a "loosing," as if to say no Scripture is the result of any human being privately, "untying" and "loosing" the truth. Peter's point is not so much about how to interpret Scripture, but rather how Scripture originated, and what its source was. The false prophets untied and loosed their own ideas. But no part of God's revelation was unveiled or revealed from a human source or out of the prophet's unaided understanding (see verse 21).

We see from this, that all who are guided by the Holy Spirit of God can get their own message from God from any Scripture. The smallest, uneducated child, who is searching for answers in the Scriptures, can have his or her own understanding of any Scripture.

The greatest scholar, who is not guided by the great Teacher (Holy Spirit), however, might not understand the simplest Scripture. The Scriptures are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned."

2 Peter 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."

"By the will of man": As Scripture is not of human origin, neither is it the result of human will. The emphasis in the phrase is that no part of Scripture was ever at any time produced because men wanted it so. The bible is not the product of human effort. The prophets, in fact, sometimes wrote what they could not fully understand (1 Peter 1:10-11), but were nonetheless faithful to write what God revealed to them.

"Moved by the Holy Ghost": The inspired writers of the sacred Scripture were "holy men of God" who were moved, borne along, guided, and impelled by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit so guided their thoughts and writings, without suppressing their individual styles and vocabularies, that they composed and recorded (without error), in the original manuscripts the exact words God intended (2 Tim. 3:16).

Grammatically, this means that they were continually carried or borne along by the Spirit of God (Luke 1:70; Acts 27:15, 17). The Holy Spirit thus is the divine author and originator, the producer of the Scriptures. In the Old Testament alone, the human writers refer to their writings as the words of God over 3800 times (e.g. Jer. 1:4; 1 Pet. 3:2; Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 2:10).

Though the human writers of Scripture were active rather than passive in the process of writing Scripture, God the Holy Spirit superintended them so that, using their own individual personalities, thought processes, and vocabulary, they composed and recorded without error the exact words God wanted written.

The original copies of Scripture are therefore inspired, i.e., God-Breathed (2 Tim. 3:16), and inerrant, i.e., without error (John 10:34-35; 17:17; Titus 1:2). Peter defined the process of inspiration which created an inerrant original text (Prov. 30:5; 1 Cor. 14:36; 1 Thess. 2:13).

The scriptures were written by about 40 holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. While in no way denying the personalities of the human writers or rejecting the distinctiveness of their particular styles, the Holy Spirit controlled the process of bringing things to the writers' memories (John 16:13), and ensuring what they recorded was the very Word of God.

As Christians read the bible, they can be confident that it is the very Word of God (Judges 2:1; John 10:35).

God is the Author of the Bible. God is a Spirit. If a Spirit is the Author of the Bible, then we must understand it by the Spirit of God. Let the Holy Spirit of God be your Teacher and Guide. God moved upon holy men of God, and they were the penmen of God's thoughts.

True ministers of God do not bring their own message to the church. They speak the message God has placed into their heart for a particular congregation at a particular time.

Luke 12:11-12 "And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and [unto] magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:" "For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say."

We are ambassadors for Christ. We do not carry our own message, but the message God has given us. We are messengers.

2 Peter Chapter 1 Continued Questions

  1. Who is the only Way to heaven?
  2. What are some character traits of Christians?
  3. Why is Peter reminding of this?
  4. What does being established in the Truth mean?
  5. If you are not growing in the Lord, you are a ____________.
  6. What is the tabernacle Peter is speaking of in verse 13?
  7. What is important to do after you are saved?
  8. What is indicated that the Lord has revealed to Peter in verse 14?
  9. History tells us Peter died how?
  10. Why is a written message better than a spoken message?
  11. Who is this letter, that Peter wrote, important to?
  12. What is Peter explaining in verse 16?
  13. Who were the three Apostles that were closest to Jesus?
  14. What had happened that caused them to know beyond any doubt who Jesus was?
  15. Peter's knowledge was _____________ _____________.
  16. What were some of the things Peter had been eyewitness of?
  17. What did the voice from heaven say about Jesus?
  18. What is even greater evidence than the transfiguration?
  19. Where does salvation occur?
  20. What does day star in verse 19 mean?
  21. Why can a child sometimes understand a Scripture when an adult cannot?

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2 Peter 2

2 Peter Chapter 2

Verses 1-21: This chapter is very like the book of Jude. So serious is the danger from false prophets and false teachers in this current dispensation, that the Holy Spirit inspired both men to address these issues near the end of their lives. As if to warn their generation and all generations that would follow.

Verses 1-3: The opposite of true revelation is the message of œfalse prophets¯ and œfalse teachers¯ who deceive God's flock and œbring in damnable heresies.¯ These heresies (unorthodox teachings), include an open denial of Christ Himself. œDenying the Lord that brought them¯, indicates that Christ's atonement potentially extends to all men, including these false teachers who reject Him. Therefore, they will experience œdestruction¯, because they themselves will be deceived by their own teaching and continue to reject the œway of truth.¯

2 Peter 2:1 œBut there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.¯

In the last lesson, we saw holy men of God moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God writing to the believers, messages to be taken to heart. In this lesson, we see some who have wandered from the truth, proclaiming themselves to be prophets. Their message is false. We know there is a terrible punishment awaiting those who teach false doctrines.

Peter described false teachers in detail in this chapter so that Christians would always recognize their characteristics and methods. The greatest sin of Christ-rejecters and the most damning work of Satan is misrepresentation of the truth and its consequent deception. Nothing is more wicked than for someone to claim to speak for God to the salvation of souls when in reality he speaks for Satan to the damnation of souls. (Deut. 1:13-18; 18:20; Jer. 23; Ezek. 13; Matt. 7:15; 23:1-36; 24:4-5; Rom. 16:17; 2 Cor. 11:13-14; Gal. 3:1-2; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).

œAmong the people¯: œThe people¯ is used in the New Testament of Israel (Acts 26:17, 23). Peter's point, though, is that Satan has always endeavored to infiltrate groups of believers with the deceptions of false teachers (John 8:44). Since Eve, he has been in the deceit business.

œPrivily shall bring in damnable heresies¯: The false teachers parade themselves as Christian pastors, teachers, and evangelists (Jude 4). œHeresies¯ means self-designed religious lies which lead to division and faction (1 Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20). The Greek word for œdestructive¯ basically means damnation.

This word is used 6 times in this letter and always speaks of final damnation (verses 1-3; 3:7, 16). This is why it is so tragic when a church makes a virtue out of the toleration of unscriptural teachings and aids in the name of love and unity (see 2 Thess. 3:14; 1 Tim. 4:1-5; Titus 3:9-11).

1 John 4:1-3 œBeloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.¯ œHereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:¯ œAnd every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.¯

We see, in the above Scriptures, the way to determine whether the message is of God, or not.

Matthew 24:24 œFor there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect.¯

We see from this that many will be deceived. The only way not to be deceived is to study the Word of God, and check everything out by that Word. If the message elevates Jesus up to the fullness of the godhead, it is true.

œDenying the Lord¯: This phrase exposes the depth of the crime and guilt of the false teachers. This unusual Greek word for œMaster¯ or œLord¯ appears 10 times in the New Testament and means one who has supreme authority, whether human authority or divine authority.

Peter here warns that false prophets deny the sovereign lordship of Jesus Christ. Though their heresies may include the denial of the virgin birth, deity, bodily resurrection and second coming of Christ, the false teachers' basic error is that they will not submit their lives to the rule of Christ. All false religions have an erroneous Christology.

œThat bought them¯: The terms which Peter used here are more analogical than theological, speaking of a human master over a household. The master bought slaves, and the slaves owed the master allegiance as their sovereign. For an Old Testament parallel (see Deut. 32:5-6), where God is said to have brought Israel, though they rejected Him.

Doctrinally, this analogy can be viewed as responsibility for submission to God which the false teachers had refused. Beyond this, they are probably claiming that they were Christians, so that the Lord had bought them actually and personally. With some sarcasm, Peter mocks such a claim by writing of their coming damnation. Thus, the passage is describing the sinister character of the false teachers who claim Christ, but deny His lordship over their lives.

œSwift destruction¯ This refers to either physical death or judgment at the return of Christ (Proverbs 29:1; 2 Thess. 1:7-10).

2 Peter 2:2 œAnd many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.¯

œPernicious¯ in the verse above, means spiritual ruin, or loss. It is so strange to me that more people will believe a lie than will believe the Truth. It is so interesting to me that many other religions today, such as the Muslim, believe the Christians are heathen. Those, who do not believe in Jesus, think we are evil for following Him.

Many people will profess to be Christians but deny Christ's lordship over their lives, refusing to live as obedient servants to Christ and His Word, following instead the lusts of the flesh, the world, and the devil. Such nominal Christians tragically will be included in the Lord's condemnation of hypocrites at the judgment (Matt. 7:21-23; Jude 4, 7). Denying the lordship of Christ while claiming to be a believer destructively infects other people and discredits the gospel.

1 Corinthians 1:18 œFor the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.¯

œThe way of truth shall be evil spoken of¯: The world mocks and scoffs at the gospel of Jesus Christ because of nominal Christians who do not follow the Lord they claim, and have been unmasked as hypocritical people.

Verses 3-9: Future universal œjudgment¯ of this world is illustrated by the reference to the œflood¯ (Greek kataklusmon, œcataclysm¯), of Noah's day which came upon the œold world,¯ that is, the antediluvian world. The universal extent of the Flood is assumed by the author as an illustration of coming universal judgment at the end of this age. The deliverance of œLot¯ from œSodom and Gomorrah¯ is used to illustrate the fact that God will deliver His own from the coming universal judgment.

2 Peter 2:3 œAnd through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.¯

œAnd through covetousness¯: That is, uncontrolled greed. Peter observed that the underlying motive of the false teachers was not love of the truth, but love of money (see verse 14). They exploited people through their lies.

œCovet¯ means to desire something that belongs to someone else. They actually seek after these lies. Those who choose a lie over Jesus will find damnation awaiting them. The following is the only reason why He has not already destroyed them.

œFeigned¯, in the verse above means artificial or fictitious. We should not be amazed that they hang on to the false doctrine and believe it, before they believe the Truth. Jesus was the Truth, and they did not believe Him. His followers should expect no better treatment than our leader got.

œWhose judgment ¦ lingereth not¯: The principle that God is going to damn false teachers was set in place in eternity past, repeated throughout the Old Testament, and is œnot idle¯ in the sense that it has not worn out or become ineffective. It is still potent and will come to pass (see Jude 4).

œTheir damnation slumbereth not¯: Peter is personifying destruction as if destruction were an executioner who is fully awake and alert, ready to act. Because God is by nature a God of truth, he will judge all liars and deceivers.

2 Peter 2:4 œFor if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast down to hell, and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;¯

œIf¯: This is better translated œsince¯, because there is no doubt about the history of judgment which Peter is about to recount. (Verses 4-10), are one long sentence with the conclusion to the œsince¯ clause (beginning in verse 9).

Lest anyone think that God is too loving and merciful to judge the wicked false teachers and their deceived people, Peter gives 3 powerful illustrations of past divine judgment on the wicked. These illustrations set the precedents for the future and final judgment on liars and deceivers. Though God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11), He must judge wickedness because His holiness requires it (2 Thess. 1:7-9).

  1. Angels that did not keep their own domain. Before the flood (verse 4; Gen 6:1-3), who left their normal state and lusted after women (verse 4; see Jude 6);
  2. Spared not the old world (verse 5; Genesis chapters 6 " 8);
  3. Before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 6; Gen. 19).

œAngels that sinned¯: These angels (according to Jude 6), œdid not keep their own domain,¯ i.e., they entered men who promiscuously cohabited with women. Apparently, this is a reference to the fallen angels of Gen. 6 (sons of God):

œCast them down to hell¯: Peter borrowed a word from Greek mythology for hell, œtartarus¯. The Greeks taught that tartarus was a place lower than Hades reserved for the most wicked of human beings, gods, and demons. The Jews eventually came to use this term to describe the place where fallen angels were sent.

The demons feared going there and begged Jesus during His life on earth not to send them there (Matt. 8:29; Luke 8:31). Not all demons are bound. Many roam the heavens and earth (Rev. 12:7-9). Some are temporarily bound. These were, because of their sin (in Genesis 6), permanently bound in darkness.

Matthew 8:29 œAnd, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?¯

It defined for them the lowest hell, the deepest pit, the most terrible place of torture and eternal suffering. Jesus, in spirit, entered that place when His body was in the grave and proclaimed triumph over the demons during the time between His death and resurrection.

œChains of darkness¯: œReserved unto judgment¯: Fallen angels are destined to be released from their present hell to be judged and then consigned to the lake of fire, the final hell, a place œprepared for the devil and his angels¯ (Matt. 25:41).

The judgment had been pronounced upon them. It does not necessarily mean that it was carried out in its entirety at the time this is spoken. I as a Christian am seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, but my body is still housing my spirit here on the earth.

2 Peter 2:5 œAnd spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth , a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;¯

œSpared not the old world¯: The second illustration serving as a precedent for God's future judgment on false teachers is the judgment on the ancient world through the world-wide flood (Genesis chapters 6 " 8). The human race was reduced to 8 people by that judgment (1 Peter 3:20).

œA preacher of righteousness¯ (see Genesis 6:9; 7:1). His life spoke of righteousness as he called people to repent and avoid the flood judgment.

Noah preached nearly 100 years and had no converts. That should encourage some ministers today. Noah, his wife, his 3 sons, and their wives were saved in the flood. They were not saved from the flood. It rained on them too. They were saved in the flood. These 8 people were to repopulate the world. œEight¯ means new beginnings.

The rest of the evil world was destroyed by the flood. The sin was so bad at the time, That God destroyed the world's people with the flood, it is said God was sorry He had ever made man.

Genesis 6:8 œBut Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.¯

Genesis 6:6 œAnd it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.¯

He destroyed them for the sin in their lives.

2 Peter 2:6 œAnd turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned with an overthrow, making an example unto those that after should live ungodly;¯

œSodom and Gomorrha¯: The third precedent for a future divine judgment on the wicked is the total destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other lesser surrounding cities (Gen. 13; 18:16-33; 19:1-38; Deut. 29:23). This judgment destroyed every person in the area by incineration.

œMaking them an example¯: That is, a model, or a pattern. God sent an unmistakable message to all future generations that wickedness results in judgment.

We see again from this, God will not always strive with man. He is patient and kind and forgiving, but He will judge us when He says enough. The judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah came because there were not even 10 righteous in the city. God rained down fire and brimstone on the city, because they were homosexuals and lesbians. This is an abomination to God.

You remember, œabomination¯ means revolting sin. We can look at the destruction of these cities and know what God will do to us, if our nation does not deal with this problem. We must repent and turn to God, before He says enough.

Verses 7-8: œDelivered just Lot¯: Lot was righteous, as all the saved are, by faith in the true God. Righteousness was imputed to him, by grace through faith, as it was to Abraham (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3, 11:22-23). There was spiritual weakness in Lot (Gen. 19:6), e.g., immorality (Gen. 19:8), and drunkenness (Gen 19:33-35). His heart was in Sodom (Gen 19:16), yet he did hate the sins of his culture and strongly sought ways to protect God's angels from harm.

He obeyed the Lord in not looking back at Sodom (Gen. 19). In both illustrations where God rendered a wholesale judgment of all living people (once on the whole earth, and once in the whole region of the plain South of the Dead Sea), Peter pointed out that God's people were rescued (verse 5; verse 9).

The Greek word for œoppressed¯ implies that Lot was troubled deeply and tortured (the meaning of œtormented¯), with the immoral, outrageous behavior of the people living in and around Sodom and Gomorrah. Tragically, it is ordinary for believers today no longer to be shocked by the rampant sin in their society.

2 Peter 2:7 œAnd delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:¯

Lot was justified in the sight of God, because he was the nephew of Abraham. Abraham pled for the city. God saved Lot, and his 2 daughters because of Abraham. Lot's wife would have been saved, but she looked back at the city and turned to a pillar of salt. These filthy people had even asked to have the 2 male angels so they could rape them. These were evil people.

2 Peter 2:8 œ(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed righteous soul from day to day with unlawful deeds;)¯

When God sends destruction on the ungodly, he commands deliverance for the righteous. In bad company, we cannot but get either guilt or grief. Let the sins of others be troubles to us. Yet it is possible for the children of the Lord, living among the most profane, to retain their integrity. There being more power in the grace of Christ, and his dwelling in them, than in the temptations of Satan, or the example of the wicked, with all their terrors or allurements.

2 Peter 2:9 œThe Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:¯

œDeliver the godly out of temptations¯: The Greek word translated œtemptations¯ implies an attack with intent to destroy, but from which God can deliver the godly before judgment falls on the wicked. This kind of deliverance will occur prior to the Tribulation, when the Church will be kept œfrom the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth¯ (Rev. 3:10).

There is no better example to prove this point, than the fact that God saved Noah in the midst of the flood. Knoweth means continues to know. This statement, then, is not just for their age, but ours, as well. The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ protects us from the enemy, even today. Jesus is the Judge of all the people of the world. He will separate the good from the evil.

œTo reserve the unjust¯: The wicked are kept like prisoners awaiting the sentencing that will send them to their eternal prison (verse 4). The final judgment on the wicked is called the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15), where all the ungodly of all the ages will be raised, judged finally, and cast into the lake of fire.

It is Jesus who will give the sentence of either heaven or hell. When we are delivered from the temptation to sin, it is the name of Jesus that delivers us. The best thing parents can do for their children are to pray the blood of Jesus will cover them and keep them from the temptations of this world.

Jesus is the Judge, but He is also the Deliverer. Place your trust in Him and you will be protected from fleshly temptations.

Verses 10-17: False teachers are polemically described as œcursed children,¯ literally, œchildren of a curse¯; œwells without water¯, unable to satisfy the spiritual thirst of men; and œclouds¯ that are blown about by every wind of doctrine (see Jude 12).

2 Peter 2:10 œBut chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous , self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.¯

œWalk after the flesh¯ (Jude 6). Like the wicked of Noah's and Lot's time, the false teachers of Peter's era were slaves to the corrupt desires of the flesh.

This is speaking of the punishment coming on those who are controlled by their flesh and its lust. We have discussed in these lessons before, that the person who is in authority (whether in government or in the church), are there because God placed them there for a purpose.

œDespise government¯: œAuthority¯ comes from the same Greek word as œlord¯ (1:2). The false teachers identified with Christ outwardly. But they would not live under His lordship. The two major characteristics of false teachers are emphasized in this verse:

  1. Lust; and
  2. Arrogance.

To speak evil of them would be questioning God's judgment in putting them there. To speak evil of them would be to speak evil of the One who gave them their authority (God).

Presumptuous ¦ self-willed¯: Presumptuous meaning œDaring¯, is to be brazen, audacious and defiant. œSelf-willed is to be obstinate, determined in one's own way.

œSpeak evil of dignities¯: To revile or speak evil is to ridicule and blaspheme. Angelic majesties were probably wicked angels. Wicked angels have a level of existence in the supernatural world that has a dignity and a transcendent quality about it that is beyond humanity (Eph. 6:12).

A certain honor belongs to those who transcend time. Consequently, there must be no flippancy regarding Satan and his angels. It may even be that these teachers tried to excuse their wicked lusts by pointing to the angels (in Genesis 6), œwho did not keep their own domain¯ (Jude 6). The blasphemy of even bad angels by the false teachers demonstrated their arrogance and antipathy toward any authority, be it good or bad.

2 Peter 2:11 œWhereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.¯

œAngels which are greater in power and might¯: A reference to the holy angels, who are greater in power than human beings.

œBring not railing accusation¯: Unlike false teachers who are defiant toward higher powers, the holy angels so revere their Lord that they will not speak insults against any authority. Even the archangel, Michael, recognizing the great presence and power of Satan, refused to speak evil of him, but called on the Lord to do so (Jude 9; see below). No believer should be so boldly foolish as to mock or command the power of supernatural demons, especially Satan.

When Jesus took on the form of flesh, He was spoken of as being a little lower than the angels. This is speaking of flesh being lower than the spirit. œAngels¯ are ministering spirits. They are not controlled by the limitations of the flesh. Angels are not accusers. They are ministering spirits to help the believers. They have a specific job, as you will see in the next Scripture.

Hebrews 1:14 œAre they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?¯

Notice in the following Scripture, that the angel did not rebuke the devil. The Lord rebuked the devil.

Jude 1:9 œYet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.¯

This is the same method Christians must use, as well. The name of Jesus rebukes the evil one. We have no power in our own name. It is the power in His name that succeeds.

2 Peter 2:12 œBut 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;¯

œAs natural brute beasts¯ (Jude 10). The false teachers have no sensitivity to the power and presence of demons or holy angels, but like wild animals, insubordinate, insolent, and arrogant, they charge into the supernatural realm, cursing away at persons and matters they don't understand.

œAnd destroyed¯: Since they live like beasts that are œborn ¦ to be captured and killed,¯ the false teachers will be killed like beasts. False teachers cannot get beyond their own instincts and thus will be destroyed by the folly of those passions.

We must leave the judgment to Jesus. Judge not, that you be not judged. We, many times, do not have all the facts in, before we begin to judge. Notice, the word œnatural¯, which is speaking of a man who is operating in the flesh. He is not a spirit man. The flesh must die that the spirit might live. Look at the following Scripture with me.

Galatians 6:8 œFor he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.¯

It is a dangerous thing to judge others. With the same judgment we judge, we shall be judged.

2 Peter Chapter 2 Questions

  1. What will be the condition of the teachers spoken of in verse 1?
  2. What is the false message that they bring?
  3. What will happen to these evil people?
  4. What will these false prophets and false teachers do that will cause many to believe them?
  5. How is the only way not to be deceived?
  6. What does œpernicious¯, in verse 2, mean?
  7. In verse 3, what does œfeigned¯ mean?
  8. What does œcovet¯ mean?
  9. What happened to the angels who fell?
  10. What does the author believe about the fallen angels who followed Lucifer, instead of God?
  11. What do the œchains¯ in verse 4 indicate?
  12. What is Noah called in verse 5?
  13. Noah found _________ in the eyes of the LORD.
  14. Who did God bring the flood upon?
  15. What does the number œeight¯ mean?
  16. Where do we find the Scripture that says the LORD repented that He made man?
  17. What place was so bad that God destroyed it with fire and brimstone?
  18. Why did the judgment come on these people?
  19. What does œabomination¯ mean?
  20. Who was delivered from the destruction of this evil place?
  21. What had vexed Lot daily?
  22. What happened to the husbands of Lot's 2 daughters?
  23. God saved Noah in the midst of the ________.
  24. What protects the Christian from the enemy today?
  25. What is the best thing parents can do for their children today?
  26. Jesus is the Judge, He is also the ____________.
  27. Who puts people in places of authority, really?
  28. When you speak evil of those in authority, what are you really doing?
  29. What is meant by being a little lower than the angels?
  30. What are œangels¯?
  31. What is the specific job of the angels?
  32. Which of the archangels is spoken of in Jude chapter 1 verse 9?¯
  33. How can a Christian come against the devil?
  34. Judge ____, that ye be not judged.

2 Peter Chapter 2 Continued

2 Peter 2:13 œAnd shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;¯

œThe reward of unrighteousness¯: Immorality and arrogant boldness will not pay in the end. It will rob and destroy.

This is speaking of those who profess to know God, but are really not His. Notice the statement (shall receive the reward of unrighteousness). We have seen this, recently in the churches. Men, who are professing to be leaders of the church, living very worldly lives.

They are attempting to cover their sins, and deceive the people into believing they are in right standing with God. These false teachers are even worse than the people who have not made any commitment to God. Everything these men do is deceiving. They are not truly sold out to God. They bring a false message and are not only deceived themselves, but deceive others as well.

œRiot in the day time¯: Sinning during the day without the cover of darkness was a sign of low-level wickedness in Roman society (1 Thess. 5:7). But these false teachers are so consumed with lust and rebellion that they are pleased not to wait for the night. Their unbridled passions consume them.

œSpots they are and blemishes¯ (Jude 10). That is, dirt spots and scabs. They are opposite to the character of Christ (1 Peter 1:19). The church should be like her Lord (Eph. 5:27).

Sporting ¦ while they feast with you¯: The false teachers, feigning to be teachers of truth while sitting with Christians at church love-feasts, were behaving arrogantly and immorally even on such occasions intended for Christian fellowship. Though attempting to cover their corruption with religious talk, they were filthy defects on these church gatherings (2 John 9:11; Jude 12).

The church (all true believers), should be without spot or wrinkle. Jesus Christ (our perfect Lamb sacrifice), was without spot or wrinkle. He lighted the way for His followers.

2 Peter 2:14 œHaving eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:¯

œEyes full of adultery¯: The false teachers had so totally lost moral control that they could not look at any woman without seeing her as a potential adulteress (Matt. 5:28). They were uncontrollably driven by lust, never resting from their sins.

œBeguiling unstable souls¯: The metaphor is from fishing and appears also (in verse 18). To entice is to catch with bait. False teachers do not capture those strong in the Word, but prey on the weak, the unstable and the young in the faith (see 3:16; Eph. 4:14; 1 John 2:13).

œHearts they have exercised with covetous practices¯: The word œtrained¯ was used for training in athletics. The false teachers have trained, prepared and equipped their minds to concentrate on nothing but the forbidden things for which their passions lust. They are well schooled in the craft of self-fulfillment.

œCursed children¯: This is a Hebraism for the curse of sin being the dominant thing in their lives, thus saying that they are damned to hell for their blatant wickedness (Galatians 3:10, 13; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Peter 1:14).

There are several key words in this; notice œchildren¯. Children indicate sonship. This is still speaking of those who profess to know Jesus, and yet are not His at all. They are deceivers. Notice, these children are cursed, because of their evil life-style. The lust of the eyes has drawn them away from God and His Spirit into pleasing their own flesh.

These are among those who Jesus will tell to get away from Him, He never knew them, at judgment day. Their argument will be that they did mighty miracles in His name. The problem is not in them doing mighty miracles in His name, but because of their reasoning for doing the miracles.

God can see right through a phony. He knows what is in our heart. He knows what we do when it appears that no one is watching. The worst part of all of this is the fact they lead others into sin with them.

2 Peter 2:15 œWhich have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;¯

œForsaken the right way¯: The œright way¯ is an Old Testament metaphor for obedience to God (Acts 13:10).

œFollowing¯ in the verse above, means follow out to the end.

œBaalam¯ (Jude 11). Balaam served as an illustration and example of such false prophets. He was an Old Testament compromising prophet for sale to whomever paid him, who preferred wealth and popularity over faithfulness and obedience to God (Numbers chapters 22-24). Through a talking donkey, God kept him from cursing Israel.

Baalam had drawn the Israelites into a fleshly religion. I believe this is what is spoken of here. Religion which appeals to the flesh is probably Christianity in form only.

œTrue Christianity¯ has to do with crucifying the flesh and living in the spirit. The flesh must die that the spirit might live. I tell our people, if it is pleasing to the flesh, run as far as you can the other way. Flesh and spirit are mortal enemies. The battle that every Christian faces, is the battle between pleasing our flesh, or pleasing the spirit.

Notice again œforsaken¯, which lets us know they were on the right track, they just left that straight and narrow path for a wider path. Again, this is speaking of the apostate in the church. Many times, the wages (money), draws us away from the truth.

2 Peter 2:16 œBut was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.¯

We will find in the Scriptures the determined Baalam who was stopped by God from doing a very foolish thing. The Lord did not want him to go, and he went anyhow. Look, with me, at what happened.

Numbers 22:22-33 œAnd God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants with him.¯ œAnd the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.¯ œBut the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall on this side, and a wall on that side.¯ œAnd when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.¯ œAnd the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.¯ œAnd when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.¯ œAnd the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?¯ œAnd Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.¯ œAnd the ass said unto Balaam, not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.¯ œThen the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.¯ œAnd the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because way is perverse before me:¯ œAnd the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.¯

This prophet had gone astray, as these last few lessons have been teaching us about the false prophets. This, Balaam, is determined to follow evil. Some of our ministers are determined to teach a false doctrine. I wonder if it will be necessary for an ass to speak to us, before we will listen?

2 Peter 2:17 œThese are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.¯

œWells without water¯: In this verse, Peter uses two poetic figures (œsprings¯ and œmists¯), which represent a precious commodity in the Middle East. A spring or well without water would be a major disappointment in a hot and dry land. Likewise, false teachers have a pretense of spiritual water to quench the thirsty soul, but they actually have nothing to give.

A well that does not provide water is a great disappointment. I think that is what God is saying here. False teachers are a great disappointment to God. Clouds that do not produce rain are speaking of the same thing. œWater¯ symbolizes the Word of God. This could be speaking of those ministers who do not bring the Word of God, and the great disappointment they are to God.

False teachers are further called œservants of corruption¯ because, despite their profession of salvation, they have become œentangled¯ in the world and œovercome¯ by it. Therefore, their œlatter end is worse¯ than their œbeginning¯ profession, because they have now embarked on a course of action that denies their profession of Christ.

The illustrations of the œdog¯ and the œsow¯ vividly portray their folly. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb œthe dog is turned to his own vomit again¯; and œthe sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire¯ (Proverbs 26:11; 2 Peter 2:22).

œMist of darkness¯: The coming of clouds of œmists¯ would seem to promise rain, but sometimes the storm would blow the clouds on by, leaving the land dry and hot. The false teacher might seem to promise spiritual refreshment, but were all show with no substance (Jude 12). The darkness is hell (Matt. 8:12; Jude 13).

2 Peter 2:18 œFor when they speak great swelling of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.¯

œSwelling words of vanity¯ (Jude 16). That is, ostentatious verbosity. The false teachers deceive the weak with high sounding words that masquerade as scholarship or profound spiritual insight, and even as direct revelation for God.

They may contradict the plain historic teachings of Scripture which in some cases they are not able to explain properly because of their lack of adequate training and divine wisdom (1 Cor. 2:14). In reality, they say nothing genuinely scholarly, or spiritual, or divine.

Nevertheless, despite all the empty talk, false teachers entice others to their philosophies by appealing to people on the baser level. Seduction, rather than the winsomeness of truth, is their ploy. They offer people a kind of religion that they can embrace and still hold on to their fleshly desires and sensuality. Peter may also be implying that false teachers particularly aim to seduce women through sensual methods.

œAllure¯ or enticing, which is a metaphor from fishing and appears also (in verse 18). To entice is to catch with bait. False teachers do not capture those strong in the Word, but prey on the weak, the unstable and the young in the faith (see 3:15; Eph. 4:14; 1 John 2:13).

œEscaped ¦ error¯: The preferred translation is œbarely escaping¯ or œtrying to escape.¯ This is a description not of saved people, but of people who are vulnerable because they have high levels of guilt and anxieties, people with broken marriages, people who are lonely and tired of the consequences of sin and are looking for a new start, even for religion or help from God. The false teachers exploit these kinds of people.

All of this is speaking of happening within the church. This is not the world, but the church. It is speaking of the devil using false prophets in the church, who appeal to the flesh of man, leading those who have been in right relation with God away from the Truth.

Wantonness is speaking of sins of the flesh. It is a very dangerous thing for the church to use things that appeal to the flesh to get people to attend church. The world and the evil desires of the flesh have no place in the church.

2 Peter 2:19 œWhile 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.¯

œPromise them liberty¯: False teachers promise those œtrying to escape¯ the struggles of life, the very freedom they seek.

œServants of corruption¯: The false teachers can't deliver the freedom they promise, because they themselves are enslaved to the very corruption which people are trying to escape.

œOvercome ¦ bondage¯: Whoever puts himself, in the name of freedom, into the hands of a false teacher, who is a prisoner himself, also becomes a prisoner. Bondage to corruption awaits all followers of false teachers.

When Christianity becomes too liberal, it has compromised with the world. The liberty to do what they want to do and still be a church member is a very dangerous thing. The way to Jesus is a straight and narrow path. When we start compromising with the world, we become servant to sin. Many of the things being done today in the churches to bring larger crowds in are nothing more than compromise. When we compromise, we are no longer in right standing with God.

2 Peter 2:20 œFor if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.¯

œEscaped the pollutions of the world¯: œDefilements¯ has the idea of putrid or poisonous vapors. Morally, the world gives off a deadly influence. Peter notes that at some point in time, these false teachers and their followers wanted to escape the moral contamination of the world system and sought religion, even Jesus Christ (on their terms, not His).

But these false teachers had never genuinely been converted to Christ. They heard the true gospel and moved toward it, but then rejected the Christ of that gospel. That is apostasy, like the people of (Hebrews 10:26-27). Their last end is far worse than the first.

Hebrews (chapter 6), has a great deal to say about turning from God back into sin, and the danger of that.

Hebrews 6:4-8 œFor impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,¯ œAnd have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,¯ œIf they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put to an open shame.¯ œFor the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:¯ œBut that which beareth thorns and briers rejected, and nigh unto cursing; whose end to be burned.¯

In both (Hebrews and 2 Peter), it is speaking of those who were in bondage to sin and received freedom from that sin in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we receive Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are freed from the bondage of sin. We become a new creature in Christ.

To turn away from so great salvation back into a life of sin is very dangerous. It would be as if we were crucifying Jesus all over again. The Word of God has helped us become a new creature in Christ. To turn back into a sinful way of life, after having full knowledge of God is very serious.

Christianity is a daily walk in the footprints that Jesus left for us. I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to bring the world in the church. The world is full of sin. Stop trying to be like the rest of the world, Christian. In fact, stop living your life and let Christ live in you.

2 Peter 2:21 œFor it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known , to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.¯

œTo turn from the holy commandment¯: Literally œto turn back.¯ This verse describes the perversion and defection of the false teachers. They professed the Christian experience, the way of righteousness (Matt 21:32), and even had access to the true teachings of Scripture. But by their lives they demonstrated that they ultimately had chosen to reject Christ (Heb. 10:26-31).

Such false teachers as Peter was describing were not made outside Christianity. They are always bred in the church, half in and half out; but eventually they reject the truth and try to seduce others in their attempt to fulfill their self-gratification.

Righteousness is putting on the righteousness of Christ, putting us in right standing with God. To be full of Christ and His teachings and then turn back into the world would be choosing the flesh over the spirit. Jesus said: œIf you love me, keep my commandments¯ (John 14:15). We must walk daily in the light of Jesus.

John 15:22 œIf I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.¯

Jesus gave His body on the cross for all believers in Christ. His blood washed our sin away. It no longer exists. To boldly choose to go back into a sinful way of life, after we are freed from sin, would require a total turning away from God. It would mean we had chosen the devil and his ways, rather than God's ways.

John 8:44 œYe are of father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.¯

2 Peter 2:22 œBut it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.¯

This is speaking of Christians who were not 100% committed to the Lord.

œDog ¦ Sow¯: Two graphic analogies of an apostate. The first is from (Proverbs 26:11), shown below and the second about the sow is Peter's here in (2:22).

Proverbs 26:11 œAs a dog returneth to his vomit, a fool returneth to his folly.¯

This reminds me so much of the seed that was planted by the wayside that sprang up, and then very soon withered away. The lust of the flesh has allured this person back into the world. In both instances, the dog and the sow have returned to the unregenerate life. They have returned to a sinful way of life.

2 Peter Chapter 2 Continued Questions

  1. Who is verse 13 speaking of?
  2. Why is it worse for a teacher to be corrupt?
  3. What should be the condition of the church?
  4. Having eyes full of ___________.
  5. What are these false believers called in verse 14?
  6. Why are they cursed?
  7. They have forsaken the _________ ____.
  8. Who are they compared to in verse 15?
  9. What does œfollowing¯ in verse 15 mean?
  10. Baalam had drawn the Israelites into a __________ religion.
  11. What is œtrue Christianity¯?
  12. What is the great battle that every Christian faces?
  13. What was unusual about the ass that Baalam rode?
  14. What is a well without water?
  15. False teachers are a great ______________ to God.
  16. What does œwater¯ symbolize?
  17. When they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the ______ of the _______.
  18. What kind of sin is œwantonness¯ speaking of?
  19. What happens to Christianity when it becomes too liberal?
  20. What kind of path leads to Jesus?
  21. Verse 20 says they escaped the pollutions of the world through the _______________ of the _______ and ________ ________ _________.
  22. What chapter in Hebrews deals with the same thing as verse 20 here?
  23. What are they both speaking of?
  24. For a Christian to turn back into a sinful way of life is a very _______________ thing.
  25. Christianity is a ___________ walk.
  26. Stop living your life and let __________ live in you.
  27. Jesus said; œIf you love me, keep my _______________¯.
  28. What washes the sin of the Christian away?
  29. The dog is turned to his _________ again.
  30. The sow that was washed to her ____________ in the _______.
  31. Both have returned to their ____________ life.

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2 Peter 3

2 Peter Chapter 3

Verses 1-2: Peter clearly places the œholy prophets¯ of the Old Testament on the same level of inspiration and authority as œthe apostles¯ of Christ in the New Testament, emphasizing the inspiration of all Scripture.

2 Peter 3:1 œThis second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:¯

œThis second epistle¯: That is (second to 1 Peter). œBeloved¯: This attitude toward the readers of his letter reflects Peter's pastoral concern (1 Peter 5:1-4).

œYour pure minds¯: A good commendation which demonstrates that Peter believed that his readers were genuine Christians. œSincere¯ means uncontaminated; unmixed by the seductive influences of the world, the flesh, and the devil. How different the true believers were from the corrupt apostate false teachers (2:10-22). Peter sought to impress on his readers the truth they already knew so that their sanctified reason and spiritual discernment would be able to detect and refute the purveyors of false doctrine.

The Christian has the blessing of the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 œFor who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ.¯

It is the Holy Spirit of God who brings things to our remembrance.

John 14:26 œBut the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.¯

Our mind is like a giant computer. Everything we learn is recorded. The Spirit helps us recall the things which are beneficial to us when we need it.

2 Peter 3:2 œThat 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 Savior:¯

œHoly prophets¯: The Old testament prophets are in view, who were holy in contrast to the unholy false teachers. God's Word was written by those prophets in the Scriptures. In particular, those prophets warned about coming judgment (Psalm 50:1-4; Isa. 13:10-13; 24:19-23; Micah 1:4; Mal. 4:1-2).

œThe commandment ¦ of the Lord¯: Peter is referring to the warnings which he and the other apostles had written regarding judgment (Jude 17).

œThe apostles¯: The apostles of Christ filled the 260 chapters of the New Testament with about 300 references to the second coming. New Testament revelation about the Christ coming to gather His own, warnings about eschatological judgments, information about the establishment of His kingdom, and teaching concerning God's bringing in eternal righteousness, are the irrefutable proof for the second coming of Christ and the judgment of the wicked.

We have spoken in many of the lessons how the apostle is like an ambassador of the Lord. They are a glorified message carrier. The message is not their own, but Christ's message who sent them. These prophets were moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God. The message was placed in their mouths by the Holy Spirit of God.

You can easily see the importance of taking notice of the message God sent. The commandments, spoken of by the apostles and prophets, are sent by the Lord to His people.

Verses 3-7: œKnowing this first¯ After describing the proliferation of false teachers to take place during this dispensation, Peter then stresses the importance of being aware of œscoffers,¯ or those who would cast doubt on whether the Second Coming will truly happen. While the expression œin the last days¯ is used to characterize the entire period between Jesus' first and second advents, scoffers of our own time fit Peter's description particularly well.

Ridicule and mockery arise from willful rejection of truth rather than any presentation of facts. The present popular theory of history is based on the supposedly scientific idea of uniformitarianism, which teaches that geological and biological phenomena have operated uniformly since the universe began.

Peter accuses such scoffers of ignoring the biblical account of the original creation (Gen. 1), when the earth was formed out of water and in the water. Those same waters prominent in the original creation also covered the earth and destroyed it in the Noahic Flood (verse 6; Gen. 6-8).

Peter further warns that in the œlast days¯ of the church age, œscoffers¯ (literally mockers) will ridicule the œpromise¯ of Christ's second coming. He further states that arguments based on supposedly unchanging processes since œcreation¯, fail to recall the severity of the flood of œwater¯ upon the œearth.¯ Just as God once destroyed the world by water; so it is now œreserved unto fire¯ until the œday of judgment.¯

2 Peter 3:3 œKnowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,¯

œKnowing this first¯: œFirst¯ here means the preeminent matter, not the first in a list. Peter's priority in this section of his letter is to warn Christians about how the false teachers would try to deny this judgment and steal the hope of believers.

œIn the last days¯: This phrase refers to that entire period from the arrival of the Messiah to His return (Acts 2:17; Gal. 4:4; 2 Tim. 3:1; Heb. 1:2; James 5:3; 1 Peter 1:20; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 18). The entire age will be marked by saboteurs of the Christian truth and especially the hope of Christ's return.

œScoffers¯: False teachers argue against the second coming of Christ or any teaching of Scripture through ridicule (Isa. 5:19; Jude 18).

œWalking after their own lusts¯: Peter again speaks of the lifestyle of the false teachers, which was characterized by sexual lusts (2:2, 10, 13-14, 18), pounding home his warning. False teachers who know not the truth and know not God have nothing to restrain their lusts.

They particularly mock the second coming of Jesus Christ because they want to pursue impure sexual pleasure without consequence, or without having to face divine retribution. They want an eschatology that fits their conduct (1 John 2:28-29; 3:2-3).

We must be aware that the world will not receive this message of God. These œscoffers¯ are those who make fun of those who believe in salvation through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:18 œFor the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.¯

These scoffers (those who have hardened their heart against God), will laugh at those who believe. They are so caught up in themselves that they think only of the desires of their own flesh. They do not believe in anything they cannot see with their physical eyes.

2 Peter 3:4 œAnd saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as from the beginning of the creation.¯

œWhere is the promise of his coming¯: The early church believed that Jesus was coming back imminently (1 Cor. 5:51; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2:19; 4:15-18; 5:1-2). These scoffers employed an emotional argument against immanency rather than a biblical argument. Their argument played on ridicule and disappointment.

œThe fathers¯: The Old Testament patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:1).

œAll things continue as they were¯: This argument against the second coming of Christ is based on the theory of uniformitarianism, which says that all natural phenomena have operated uniformly since the beginning of the earth. The false teachers were also implying that God is absent from earth affairs.

In effect, they were teaching that, œThere will not be a great cataclysmic judgmental event at the end of history, because that is not how the universe works. There never has been such a judgment, so why should we expect one in the future? Instead, everything in the universe is stable, closed, fixed and governed by never varying patterns and principles of evolution. Nothing catastrophic has ever happened in the past, so nothing catastrophic ever will happen in the future. There will be no divine invasion, no supernatural judgment on mankind.¯

This is probably the same type of scoffer that laughed at Noah while he was building the ark. Their whole world revolves around the physical. Just as it had never rained in the time of Noah and they did not believe. They do not believe now, because they have never seen Jesus appear in the sky. Anything that you can see with your eyes requires no faith to believe.

As I said, they have no faith. They only believe in what they can see. The worldly can give a logical reason (to them), why the Lord is not coming back. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. We will see later in this lesson why the Lord has not already come back.

2 Peter 3:5 œFor 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:¯

The false teachers, in their quest to avoid the doctrine of judgment, deliberately ignore the two major previous divine cataclysmic events, creation and the flood.

œBy the word of God¯: Creation was God's stepping into the emptiness and bringing the universe into existence, not by uniformitarianism, but by an instantaneous, explosive 6-day creation. Everything has not gone along in some consistent, unvarying evolutionary process. In six, 24 hour days the whole universe was created mature and complete.

John 1:1-3 œIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.¯ œThe same was in the beginning with God.¯ œAll things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.¯

Colossians 1:16 œFor by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:¯

œEarth standing out of the water and in the water¯: The earth was formed between two realms of watery mass. During the early part of the creation week, God collected the upper waters into a canopy around the whole earth, and the lower waters into underground reservoirs, rivers, lakes and seas.

The spoken Word œLet there be¯ brought everything into existence from nothing. Being willingly ignorant of something, just means they did not choose to believe.

2 Peter 3:6 œWhereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:¯

God, by creating water above and below, built into His creation the tool of its destruction.

œWhereby the world that then was¯: This is a reference to the pre-flood world order. This world included the physical arrangement with the canopy above, the waters in the underground reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and seas below, and the heavens in the middle

The pre-flood world, sheltered from the sun's destructive ultraviolet rays, and with a gentle climate without rain, storms and winds, was characterized by long life of humans (Genesis 5), and the ability of the earth (like a greenhouse), to produce extensively.

œOverflowed with water, perished¯: The second great divine cataclysm; that defeats the idea of uniformitarianism, was the universal flood which drowned the whole earth and altered that originally created world order.

According to (Genesis 7:11), the flood occurred from two directions: first, the bursting open of the sources of water below as the earth cracked open and gas, dust, water and air burst up. Then came the breakup of the canopy when hit by all that upward flow, which sent the water from above crashing down on the earth.

The deluge was so cataclysmic that the inhabitants of the earth were all destroyed, except 8 people and a representation of every kind of animal (Gen 7:11-24). Clearly, by those two great events, it is certain that the world is not in a uniformitarian process.

We have discussed in this series of lessons that God was grieved that He had even made man, because man was so wicked. Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord, and was saved along with his family in the flood.

The œworld¯, in the verse above, is not speaking of the physical world, but the people in the world. The flood destroyed all but 8 people. Those 8 people repopulated the world.

2 Peter 3:7 œBut 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.¯

œBy the same word¯: The same Word of God that predicted the Flood and fulfilled it also has predicted the future destruction of this world in the Day of Judgment and the destruction of the ungodly.

The second world system is reserved for future judgment, which will come by the Word of God just as creation and the flood came. God will speak it into existence as well, after the present order is again destroyed.

œAre kept in store¯: Humanity, since the flood, lives in the second world order. One of the obvious differences between the two world orders is that people live 70 years in the present world not 900 years, which was a common age of pre-flood human beings. And Peter was making the point that there is a third form of the heavens and earth yet to come following another cataclysm.

œReserved unto fire¯: God put the rainbow in the sky to signify that He would never destroy the world again by water (genesis 9:13). In the future, God will destroy the heavens and the earth by fire (Isa. 66:15; Dan. 7:9-10; Mica 1:4; Mal. 4:1; Matt. 3:11-12; 2 Thess. 1:7-8). In the present universe, the heavens are full of stars, comets, and asteroids. The core of the earth is also filled with a flaming, boiling, liquid lake of fire, the temperature of which is some 12,400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The human race is separated from the fiery core of the earth by only a thin 10 mile crust. Far more than that, the whole of creation is a potential fire bomb due to its atomic structure. As man from atoms creates destructive bombs that burn a path of death; so God can disintegrate the whole universe in an explosion of atomic energy.

œAgainst the day of judgment ¦ of ungodly men¯: The earth waits for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men. The godly will not be present on earth when God speaks into existence the judgment by fire (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9).

Everything and everyone are subject to the wishes of God. Jesus is the Word of God.

Philippians 2:10 œThat at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth;¯

You see, all things are subject to the Word of God. It is the Word of God that keeps the planets in perfect order. With one word, He could destroy it all. After the reign of Jesus on the earth, the earth we know will be destroyed by fire. There will be a new heaven and a new earth.

2 Peter 3:8 œBut, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.¯

œOne day is with the Lord as a thousand years¯: God understands time much differently from man. From man's viewpoint, Christ's coming seems like a long time away (Psalm 90:4). From God's viewpoint, it will not be long. Beyond that general reference, this may be a specific indication of the fact that there are 1,000 years between the first phase of the Day of the Lord at the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 6:17), and the last phase 1,000 years later at the end of the millennial kingdom when the Lord creates the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 20:1 " 21:1).

God is present everywhere, and is not limited by time and space. He is not bound by the normal flow of time, as humans experience it. A thousand years is but a brief span to One who inhabits eternity; conversely, a day with the One who knows all things at all times, might seem like a thousand years to finite mankind.

There is no separation of time in heaven where God dwells. There is one eternal day. The only place where time is measured is on this earth. God set the measure of time for the earth, Himself. God established the 24 hours we call a day, the 7 day week and so on.

This scheduled time is for the use of man on the earth. When we are transported into heaven where God dwells, there is only eternity. Time never ends or divides into time segments. With God, a thousand years could be but a blink of the eye.

2 Peter 3:9 œThe 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.¯

œNot slack¯: That is, not loitering or late (Gal 4:4; Titus 2:13; Heb. 6:18; 10:23, 37; Rev. 19:11).

œLongsuffering to us-ward¯: This refers to those whom the Lord has chosen and will call to complete the redeemed, i.e., the œany¯. Since the whole passage is about God's destroying the wicked, His patience is not so He can save all of them, but so that He can receive all His own. He can't be waiting for everyone to be saved, since the emphasis is that He will destroy the world and the ungodly.

Those who do perish and go to hell, go because they are depraved and worthy only of hell and have rejected the only remedy, Jesus Christ. Not because they were created for hell and pre-determined to go there.

The path to damnation is the path of a non-repentant heart; it is the path of one who rejects the person and provision of Jesus Christ and hold on to sin (Isa. 55:1; Jer. 13:17; Ezek. 18:32; Matthew 11:28; 23:37; Luke 13:3; John 3:16; 8:21, 24; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; Rev. 22:17).

œThat all should come to repentance¯: œAll¯ (œyou¯, œany¯), must refer to all who are God's people who will come to Christ to make up the full number of the people of God. The reason for the delay in Christ's coming and the attendant judgments is not because He is slow to keep His promise, or because He wants to judge more of the wicked, or because He is impotent in the face of wickedness.

He delays His coming because He is patient and desires the time for His people to repent.

God is œnot willing that any should perish¯ clearly expresses desire for the salvation of all who will trust in Him. Salvation is equated here with œrepentance.¯

œNot slack concerning his promise¯: God is not late in consummating this age, since to Him it is but a brief span of time, but in His longsuffering, He continues His plan to save the lost. In patience, He allows time for people to repent, œnot willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.¯

Every promise the Lord made will be kept; with no exceptions. Whatever He promised, He will do. It may seem to us as if it is a long time coming, but the little time each of us wait is nothing compared to all of eternity.

The only reason the Lord has not already come back, is because He wants all that will come to come, to be saved. We have only to look at the numerous times God forgave the Israelites (on their way to the Promised Land), to know just how longsuffering He is.

Verses 10-13: œThe day of the Lord¯ here refers to the return of Christ in judgment, not the Rapture, since this day results in final apocalyptic judgment. œThe heavens¯ that œshall pass away with a great noise¯ are the atmospheric heavens. œThe elements shall melt with fervent heat¯ certainly could refer to a nuclear holocaust. Thus, Peter urges his readers to look beyond this present world to the œnew heavens and a new earth¯ characterized by œrighteousness.

2 Peter 3:10 œBut 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.¯

œDay of the Lord¯: The œDay of the Lord¯ is a technical term pointing to the special intervention of God in human history for judgment. It ultimately refers to the future time of judgment whereby God judges the wicked on earth and ends this world system in its present form.

The Old Testament prophets saw the final Day of the Lord as unequaled darkness and damnation, a day when the Lord would act in a climactic way to vindicate His name, destroy His enemies, reveal His glory, establish His kingdom and destroy the world (Isa. 2:10-21; 13:6-22; Joel 1, 2: Amos 5; Obadiah 15; Zech. 14; Mal. 4; 2 Thess. 1:7; 2:2).

It occurs at the time of the tribulation on earth (Rev. 6:17), and again 1,000 years later at the end of the millennial kingdom before the creation of the new heavens and new earth (verse 13; Revelation 20:1 " 21:1).

œAs a thief¯: The Day of the Lord will have a surprise arrival, sudden, unexpected and disastrous to the unprepared (1 Thess. 5:2).

The heavens shall pass away with a great noise¯: The œheavens¯ refer to the physical universe. The œroar¯ connotes a whistling or a crackling sound as of objects being consumed by flames. God will incinerate the universe, probably in an atomic reaction that disintegrates all matter as we know it (verses 7, 11-13).

œThe elements shall melt with fervent heat¯: The œelements¯ are the atomic components, into which matter is ultimately divisible, which make up the composition of all the created matter. Peter means that the atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons are all going to disintegrate (verse 11).

œThe earth also and the works that are therein¯: The whole of the physical, natural earth in its present form, with its entire universe will be consumed (Isa 24:19-20; 34:4).

Just as the day of the flood finally came, the time of the end will come also. There is an appointed time that only the Father knows. The return of the Lord to the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords is not to be confused with the end of the planet.

The earth will be ruled by the King (Jesus), for a thousand years, then the earth will be destroyed by fire, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. I believe the coming of the Lord and the judgment of fire on the earth itself to be two separate happenings.

Revelation 21:1 œAnd I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.¯

2 Peter 3:11 œ then all these things shall be dissolved, what manner ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness,¯

œWhat manner of persons ought ye to be¯: This is an exclamation rather than a question. It means, œHow astoundingly excellent you ought to be!¯ This is a straightforward challenge for Christians to conform their lives to God's standards in light of the reality of coming judgment and eternity (1 Cor. 4:15; 2 Cor. 5:9).

œHoly conversation and godliness¯: Conversation means conduct and this Scripture refers to the way a Christian should live life, separate from sin. œGodliness¯ refers to the spirit of reverence which should permeate a Christian's attitude, that which rules the heart.

All the worldly goods in your custody today will be gone forever, someday. We are just custodians of these things.

When we die, we take nothing of this world with us. They are all passed on to someone who has a better use for them. Why should we worry and fret trying to amass great fortunes, if we are going to die and leave it to the next generation? This world and everything in it will pass away. We should be spending our time laying up treasures for heaven.

2 Peter 3:12 œLooking 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?¯

œLooking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God¯: With a continuing expectancy in our hearts, believers should continue looking for the œgrand finale¯ of history, as divinely planned and set forth in prophetic Scripture. œHasting¯ means eagerly desiring or enthusiastically anticipating the coming of the œday of God.¯ Christians are not to fear the future day of God, but eagerly hope for it. (1 Cor. 1:7; 16:22; 1 John 2:28; 3:3).

œThe day of God¯: The œday of God¯ is not the same as the œDay of the Lord.¯ The œday of God¯ refers to the eternal state, in preparation of which the heavens and the earth are burned up and the new creation is made. It is likely so named (because of what Paul had in mind in 1 Cor. 15:28), the eternal glory of the new creation, with God being all in all.

When the day of God comes, man's œday¯ will be over. The corrupting of the universe by man and Satan will have been terminated and judged, finally and forever.

This is not the second coming of Christ, but rather the arrival and presence of the day when God dissolves the heavens as we know them, the earth is burned up and the elements melt with fervent heat in a fiery cataclysmic event. This earth will be completely consumed and a new earth, fresh from the Creator's hand, will replace the old one (Rev. chapters 21 " 22).

The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved¯: The new world in which righteousness dwells, (verse 13), requires the Lord to first destroy the old, sin-cursed universe (Romans 8:19-22).

Christians should not be caught up in the worries the world has. We look around us and see signs of the nearness of the coming of the Lord. The world's hearts are failing them for fear of the things that are coming upon the earth. The Christian should not fear, but have faith. In fact, we should see these signs and rejoice that the coming of the Lord is near.

2 Peter 3:13 œNevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.¯

œNew heavens and a new earth¯: The œpromise¯ of a new universe is rooted in the Old Testament (Psalm 102:25; Isa. 65:17; 66:22). The word œnew¯ means new in quality. (i.e. different from before, not just new in chronology).

This is not the millennial earth, but a promised eternal realm consisting of new heavenly creations, pure from sin. These consist of a new earth as described (in Rev. 21:1-6), and a new city, where the Bride of Christ will live forever, the place Jesus went to prepare for us (John 14:2-3; Heb. 11:16; 12:22-24; Rev. 21:9-14).

œDwelleth righteousness¯: The universe is new in quality because righteousness has settle in and taken up permanent and exclusive residence (Isa. 60: 19-22; Rev. 21:1-7).

Abraham spent his life dwelling in tents looking for that city whose maker is God.

Galatians 3:29 œAnd if ye Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.¯

We should be looking for that same city. This world is not our home. We are strangers in this land waiting for our Deliverer to come and carry us to our Promised Land. Christians receive the righteousness of Christ when they are saved.

In the (21st chapter of Revelation), we read of the new heaven and new earth. This is a place of peace, and rest, and no tears. There will be no one, or nothing evil, in the new heaven and earth. The Light is provided by Jesus. To know the full impact of the wonders of this new heaven and new earth (read all of chapter 21 of Revelation).

Verses 14-18: Peter's reference to œour beloved brother Paul¯, indicates that the rift between Peter and Paul was not permanent (Gal. 2:14). Peter further refers to Paul's œepistles¯ in relation to œthe other scriptures¯ by equating them with all other Scripture, including the Old Testament.

2 Peter 3:14 œWherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.¯

œIn peace¯: When Christ returns, each Christian should be found enjoying the peace of Christ which knows no worry or fear about the Day of the Lord or the judgment of Christ (Phil. 4:6-7). To have this peace means that the Christian has a strong sense of assurance of his salvation and a life of obedience to Christ (1 John 4:17).

œWithout spot and blameless¯: Christians should have a spotless character and a blameless reputation. These characteristics are in graphic contrast to the false teachers (2:13), but like Christ (1 Peter 1:19).

If we are truly a new creature in Christ when we are saved, then we should walk in the salvation He has provided for us. We should be dead to the world and alive unto Jesus. He washed us in His blood and clothed us in His righteousness. We should never take the robe of righteousness off. Our walk in life should tell the world our standing with Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 œAnd the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.¯

He is coming for a church that is without spot or wrinkle. Keep your love for Him pure. If you love Him, you will keep His commandments.

2 Peter 3:15 œAnd account the longsuffering of our Lord salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;¯

œThe longsuffering of our Lord is salvation¯: In addition to what he has already explained (in verse 9), about the Lord's patience being the reason He delays judgment, here he adds that during the time of God's patience, Christians should engage in seeking the salvation of souls.

This is related to (verse 9). The œscoffers¯ (in verse 9), are wondering why the Lord has not already come back, if he is truly coming. In (verse 15), we see the reason for the delay. He is waiting patiently for those who will receive Him as Savior. He gave His body on the cross for all mankind, but we must come to Him to accept His free gift of salvation.

He cared enough for our salvation that He endured the humiliation and suffering of the cross to provide it for us. He is now giving ample time for all who will to come to Christ. I appreciate the recognition that Peter gives here, that the message Paul brought was true. Notice also, that Peter says the wisdom to bring the message was given to Paul.

The Holy Spirit had given it to Paul, when he was in the desert 3 years to be taught of God.

Verses 15b " 16: œHard to understand¯: Since Paul had (by the time Peter wrote), written all his letters and died, the readers of 2 Peter would have already received letters about future events from Paul. Some of Paul's explanations were difficult (not impossible), to interpret. Nevertheless, Peter uses Paul as a support for his teaching.

2 Peter 3:16 œAs also in all 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 also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.¯

œUnlearned and unstable wrest¯: In Peter's day (as today), there was a proliferation of foolish and hurtful perverting of apostolic teaching about the future (verses 3-4; 2 Thess. 2:1-5; 3:6-12).

Peter is correct in his statement that Paul is hard to understand sometimes. He even seems to contradict himself, until you realize that he must be all things to all people that by all means he might save some.

œThe other scriptures¯: This is one of the most clear-cut statements in the Bible to affirm that the writings of Paul are Scripture. Peter's testimony is that Paul wrote scripture, but the false teachers distorted it. The new Testament apostles were aware that they spoke and wrote the Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13), as surely as did the Old Testament prophets. Peter realized that the New Testament writers brought the divine truth that completed the Bible (1 Peter 1:10-12).

Paul stayed within the customs of the people he was ministering to, that is where the difficulty of understanding came in. He did not say the same thing to all people, because he was trying to reach them for Christ at the level of understanding where they were. He also tried not to offend them in their customs and traditions, so they would receive the gospel message.

œUnto their own destruction¯: The fact that distorting Paul's writings leads to eternal damnation proves that Paul's writings were inspired of God.

2 Peter 3:17 œYe therefore, beloved, seeing ye know before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.¯

œSeeing ye know these things before¯: Since Christians now know that there will be false teachers who will appear, twisting and distorting the Scriptures, they should be all the more on their guard.

œBeware ¦ being led away ¦ fall¯: Any time a believer seriously listens to a false teacher, he runs the risk of being led astray (2 Tim. 2:14-18; Titus 1:10-16).

So much of the confusion in the church over one little Scripture causes people to fall away from the church. I personally believe the fight over denominations is the greatest tool that Satan has. Divide and conquer. I am not saying there should not be different denominations. I am saying we should not argue over denominational things.

1 Corinthians 15:58 œTherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.¯

Hebrews 3:14 œFor we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;¯

2 Peter 3:18 œBut grow in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him glory both now and for ever. Amen.¯

œGrow in grace and in the knowledge¯: Peter ends this letter with a summary statement of the same instruction with which he began it (1:2-11). Pursuing Christian maturity and a deepening knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ will lead to doctrinal stability and prevent a Christian from being led astray.

We have said so many times that a Christian must grow in the knowledge of the grace of God, or he will backslide. We never stay the same. We are either growing, or going backwards. The very best way to grow in the Lord is to study His Word (Bible). You could study it every day for the rest of your life and never know all there is in the Word.

It is alive and new every time you read it. Knowledge is accumulated learning. It takes effort on our part to gain knowledge of the Word. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Pray the Holy Spirit will reveal the meaning of the Word to you as you read it, and it will amaze you what understanding it will bring.

To our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be glory both now and forever more. œNow and forever more¯ is speaking of the eternal day where Jesus (the Light of the world), dwells. We can say with Peter, To God be the glory, now and forever more.

œTo him be glory¯: Such a call for glory to Christ demonstrates again that Peter considered Jesus Christ to be deity, equal in honor with God the Father (1:1; John 5:23).

2 Peter Chapter 3 Questions

  1. How did Peter stir up their minds?
  2. Who brings things to our remembrance?
  3. Who is the Comforter?
  4. What are we to be mindful of in verse 2?
  5. What is an apostle?
  6. Where did the commandments they brought originate?
  7. Who will come in the last days and walk after their own lusts?
  8. Who are the scoffers?
  9. What are the only things they believe?
  10. What are these scoffers saying?
  11. If you can see something with your physical eye, it takes ____ faith to believe in it.
  12. Without _______, it is impossible to please God.
  13. In verse 5, we see the heavens were of old by what?
  14. What 3 Words brought everything into existence?
  15. Why did God destroy the world that then was, by water?
  16. Who found favor with God and was spared?
  17. What is our world reserved for?
  18. Who is the Word of God?
  19. What keeps the planets in perfect order?
  20. When will the earth be destroyed by fire?
  21. One day with the Lord can be as a _________ ________.
  22. What is the time in heaven?
  23. Verse 9 says, the Lord is not slack, but _______________.
  24. The day of the Lord will come as a _________ in the night.
  25. Where in Revelation, do we read there will be a new heaven and a new earth?
  26. What reaction should the Christians have when they realize that the end is near?
  27. We look for a new _______ and a new _______, wherein dwelleth ________________.
  28. Where did Paul receive his wisdom?
  29. Grow in _______ and in the knowledge of our _______ and ________ _______ _________

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