DISCIPLES OF JESUS MINISTRY

Where He leads us we will follow

 

 

                                

 Devotional Study

    Of

 II.Peter



              Clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ 1:1-4

 

(1) Peter in his opening sentence gives the description of being a bondservant, and then an apostle. A dramatic change to his nature had occurred in him.

     What had changed him into the person he is now? We need to look back at the narratives of the Gospel. At the time of Christ’s trial Peter denied knowing Jesus when accused of knowing him by the crowd. (Jn.18:25-27.) We have to ask the question how had he gone through such a radical transformation to be what he is now?

     In what were one of his last glorious resurrection appearances Jesus gave a promise to Simon Peter and the rest of the apostles. To wait until they were given power from on high. The gift of the Holy Spirit would enable them to go, and do the work of God. (Lk.24:49)

      Once he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit Peter would later on describe himself as that of a slave. Slaves have no rights. They are the property of the owner. He can do whatever he likes with them. In that era none of them lasted very long.

       I have to ask the question. What does Simon Peter mean when he call’s himself a slave of Jesus Christ? He is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and he is prepared to nail all of his rights to the cross because he loves his Lord

    When Christ died upon the cross, and was then raised to life on the third day, those who have accepted him as Lord it means actually that. His kingly rule, rules over his people. But because he loves us we are to love him, and do what pleases our God and Lord. We see this in the life of the apostle.

 

      To know Jesus Christ as Lord is to love him more than anything else. When you do that He will use you mightily for his kingdom. The shape and form of how that will be seen in your life only our Lord will know and reveal it to you. How much do you love our Lord? Not what we can get for ourselves. What he can give us to bring the kingdom closer to humanity only you know the answer.  I want him to draw closer so I can be like him just like Simon Peter knew him, but better.

    The next part of the sentence is highly important to the understanding of our faith. Writing to the believers to whom he sent this his second letter he goes on to say, “ To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ” Simon Peter the apostle recognizes that the saints to whom he writes are equal in the faith he himself has been given. We have all had a measure of faith deposited into our hearts equal in measure to the apostles. What you and I do with it is our responsibility.

       The apostle Paul sums it up quite distinctively in His letter to the church at Ephesus. (Eph.4:5) “ ..One Lord, one faith, one baptism;”

       Note. How we all have received the faith. It is by the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. On that understanding you and I now know that our salvation is all due to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We stand in his righteousness. Because of his righteousness he suffered shame, and abuse. He who is the Son of God went to the cross as a common criminal .Flogged before going, and died a tortuous death upon it. God the Father raised him from the dead on the third day. The righteousness Simon Peter the apostle, including the rest of the apostolic office, as well as that of the saints to whom he writes, stands in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. All of the saints of the then known world stood in Christ’s righteousness. You and I who know Jesus Christ as Lord stand in that same righteousness.

         A righteousness that cannot be earned, but is freely given to us by our Lord.

  (2) I need to ask, and you need to ask God to continue blessing us by asking Him through his Son Jesus Christ to multiply the knowledge of himself to us. Only by knowing him intimately can we know him, and this helps us to do what is pleasing to God the Father. The same knowledge that is in the possession of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our Lord said that if we know him we know his Father. He also challenged us to keep seeking after this knowledge. So important to our spiritual maturity

     At the beginning of verse two the author speaks of grace and peace. No ordinary grace and no ordinary peace. Grace in the New Testament context is the unmerited favour of God received when a sinner accepts his Son Jesus Christ as Lord. The peace is of knowing that you are not going to a lost eternity. Knowing that you are on a journey to Paradise to go and be with the glorified Lord in heaven. (3) Again we need to receive from God through His Son our Lord the power to live upright and godly lives. How often do we try, and do it on our own, and fail miserably. Quite often. Let us stop this, and ask God to help us.

      Note what Simon Peter the apostle writes to the believers. He reminds them that they have already received power to enable them to pursue and live godly lives. While writing this he includes himself “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,” You and I who know Jesus Christ as Lord. We also have his power abiding in us. I believe the reason why he does not do anything through us is because we have not surrendered our all to him. A better explanation does not do much. We have to open our hearts to him.

      The author keeps reminding them of the person who has called them. That person is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When our Lord called upon us to follow him, and we did. We received the knowledge of him. To increase that knowledge you and I have to continue to walk with him on the path of life.

     Continuing with the theme of being called. The apostle elaborates on further. “Who called us by glory and virtue,” The glory and virtue that Peter is speaking of here exclusively belongs to the Lord of Glory. Further proof of this is provided by John the apostle in his narrative of the gospel. (Jn.2:11) This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. You and I were called into the Kingdom of God because Jesus Christ our Lord made visible to us his glory as of the only begotten Son of God through the Blessed Holy Spirit actively seen in the actions of godly people we have come to know.

   An old line of a hymn comes to mind. Scoffing rude there he stood. Hallelujah! What a Saviour! Praise the Lord our God with all of our hearts. Despite your circumstances brothers and sisters can you do that? I am not asking you, but God does; because he is well able to meet all your needs. Call upon him in time of trouble. This also belongs to the glory of Christ our Lord.

   Added to the glory of Christ is his virtue. The intrinsically moral and ethical perfection of Christ’s nature which you and I strive for through the Holy Spirit operating in us. To become like him.

   (4)The author and evangelist Peter goes on to say that it is through these very means we will be able to do this. Pursuing godliness. When you and I are serious in our intent to do what is pleasing to God. To meet the will and purposes of his plans for our lives we will then continue to be like Christ our glorified Lord

        Simon Peter speaks of great and precious promises that our Lord has made to each and every one of us. Promises he made to all of his people. Including the apostles which Simon Peter was one. (3:13) “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” Repeating the key element. We all need to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The risen glorious Lord. Before entering such a paradise.

            You and I through these great and precious promises will be partakers of the divine nature. For all of God’s children. But we must persevere and claim them in the name of our Lord. (II.Cor.3:18) “ But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” When you and I look in the mirror we see the glory of the Lord for those who belong are the children of God. The expression from glory to glory is for those who deny themselves and put Jesus Christ first. Therefore let us press on into the high calling the Lord has placed upon our lives

                                                           

 

 

                        To show the fruits of faith.1:4-11.

 

(4)  Fruit as the apostle describes it is the fruit contained within us. The fruit of the Spirit. I believe we see that at the end of the verse. “…having escaped the depravity that is in world through lust.” The author in the next line elaborates on what he has said above.

(5) The reasons why you and I have escaped the depravity that is in the world through lust is because we have taken on the divine nature of Jesus Christ our Lord. The free gift to us from God his Father. It is because of that reason the apostle instructs you and me to give all diligence to what the Lord has already done on our behalf.

     We must give careful and persistent application to what we believe. In the application of our Christian faith. There has never been a darker time  in the world than now for the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Simon Peter believed it for his era.

       He was not to know it was and is for the whole era of the earthly church before Christ call’s her home.

      The author instructs his readers to manifest the seven fruits of the Spirit in verses 5 to 7.Virtue.Knowledge.Self control.Perseverence.Godliness.Brotherly kindness. Brotherly love. All of these are possible when I begin to love my Lord                                     more than anything else. My understanding of this influenced by the Spirit of God is to love my Saviour and God Jesus Christ more than my own life, and when I do that, the abundance of the love of Christ for me, and in me will spill over in the fruits I have just mentioned to others. I cannot gratify my flesh that has to be nailed to the cross on a daily basis. Only by this method will Christ be fruitful through me.

       My flesh is the biggest enemy to my spirit and so it is with all of my brothers and sisters. (8) All seven characters of the fruit of the Spirit can only be manifested when I am walking close to the Lord. Knowing him on and in a personal intimate relationship. When he speaks to me and I to him and doing what he asks of me gladly. This is the knowledge that Simon Peter the apostle is speaking of. Not only head knowledge, although I need that to understand what God would communicate to me. To know him in my heart. Hear his Spirit speaking to my spirit. My brothers and sisters do you not crave after that, as I do? The very opposite of that is to loss your appetite for God. The question then we have to ask ourselves is did we really ever know God? The presupposition of that is that we will be barren and unfruitful heading to a lost eternity. Is that you? I leave you to answer the question within yourselves. But I would like to quote the words of our Lord on this very important issue from the gospel of John.( Jn.15:2) Speaking of Himself. This is what the Lord said, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” What Jesus is meaning here is the fruit of the Spirit within us. To be like Him in a dark world. The question is who do we belong too? The world or Jesus Christ our Lord? Irene my wife and I most assuredly belong to our risen Lord. Not only us. But everyone who knows Jesus Christ as Lord, and the fruit of the Spirit can be seen in them by the world.

                  I was speaking to someone I know vaguely who professes to be a Christian, and God the Holy Spirit just spoke through me to this man. You have to understand when this happens, and it does from time to time. I am not in control. God is. Before I knew what was happening I was speaking, but it was not me that was speaking. I heard the Holy Spirit challenge this young man in a loving and gentle fashion. I asked him how things were, and the reply, was that he was doing fine. I shared with him the wonderful news of how God had cured me of cancer because I put Him first in my life.

                  It was exactly that moment God challenged him. I heard my voice say to this man. “You do know that you can pull the wool over many of your brothers, and sisters, eyes, including mine. You can hide from the world, but not from God. When you are like that, you feel miserable. I know because I have been there.” My flesh could not believe the words that had come from my mouth. He went away with sadness in his eyes. My prayer for this young man is that he seeks mercy from God. I cannot do it for him. He has to do it for himself. Does he know God? Only he can answer that.

 (9) My belief on the issue the apostle is speaking of here concerns those who do not really know God. The apostle John provides evidence to support the view I have spoken of above.

 (I.Jn.2:11.) “But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” Jesus spoke on this very subject making the point that you and I cannot live our lives from earthly values. (Jn.12:46) “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness.” Abide in darkness is to be habitually opposed towards God when our aim is of pleasing ourselves, feathering our own nests, and only pleasing God when it does not effect what we do. A form of godliness belonging to people who do not know God. Look at the clause of the verse; in context is the present. How you and I are living now. Our Lord would have known that there would be those who claimed to be his, but are not, because they still lived in the way of the world. Then and now! “…should not abide in darkness.” Therefore if you continually live in darkness you do not belong to Jesus Christ our Lord. You may think you do and say that you do. But in reality you do not.Regretably and sadly you have never known him.

          If you want to change that why not ask Jesus Christ into your heart. Ask him to forgive you of your sins and tell him he is Lord. You can do this in the privacy of your own home. The Holy Spirit will then direct you to a church He would want you to attend. From then on it is between you and our Lord. (10)

        You have heard it said that nothing worthwhile is given to you on a plate. I have to earnestly desire and commit myself to whatever I want. My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ looks for that same earnest desire, and commitment in my love towards him, and to serve the risen Christ gladly in any capacity.

      The author again repeats himself instructing his brethren to be diligent seeking after the things of God. To persevere and be more determined than ever before in pleasing the Lord. A timeless instruction for all of God’s people. The visible and invisible church of our Lord Jesus Christ universal world wide. “…to make your call and election sure...” Note! The responsibility of this is firmly placed upon our shoulders. I have to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling making sure of my calling and election. It means to be ready to do what the living Spirit of God asks of me and live accordingly to my Lord. (1.Jn.3:18-19.) “My little children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (19) And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” I believe that what the author and apostle’s object is here can be seen as two fold. One. Those who know Jesus Christ as Lord in the true sense are already doing this. Two. For those who continue to walk in darkness claiming Jesus to be Lord, still living in their old nature, heaven is never going to happen for them. But for those who earnestly seek to please our Lord the realisation of a great promise awaits them.

 You and I. We can see it in the last verse of the passage. (11) “...for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Amen.

          

                        Peter’s example of how to face death II.Peter.I.12-15

 

(12) The author writes of the purpose of this his second letter     to them. Believers who had scattered to somewhere in the Middle East. Known then as Asia Minor.

         This man is under no illusions death awaits him. A bloody          

Physical violent execution. But he does not fear death. For in his heart he knows this is the entrance into heaven. He would be going to join his glorified Lord. As he has done. Friend! What is your view of death? Do you fear, because you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord? If not? Ask him to forgive you of your sin, and accept him into your heart. Those to whom the author writes already know Jesus Christ as Lord. However; because the apostle knows death is coming quickly, he is concerned, that they may not remember all that he had taught them.

        While on the specific subject of death I had cancer in one of my kidneys that was successfully removed by surgery. But before that I left the choice to my Lord. To either call me home or leave me on earth for his purposes. As you can see I have been left on the earth for his will, and purpose. Until I am called home to glory. The same glory that awaits all God’s faithful servants.

      We must remember the apostle is writing from a prison cell, from which there is no escape, while under Roman rule.

      He does not recant nor beg for mercy regarding his earthly life. What an extraordinary witness and testimony to another life to come. I have no idea what the jailers thought, because there are no historical details. It would have had some kind of impact. God’s word does not return void

      Notwithstanding; the evangelist, apostle, and author speaks further about what is in his heart. To remind them of the great truths and doctrines he had taught them. You and I should never get tired of learning more about Jesus Christ our Lord. Only by these means are we able to become more like Him.

    The great apostle Paul reinforces Peter’s exhortations here.

(Phil.3:1) “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.” Peter acknowledges the fact of them being established in the present truth. His concern is that they have to continue pressing on into this precious truth. Without him being there to guide and help them.

     You and I are responsible for reading God’s word on a daily basis in whatever form that may take. And asking God the Holy Spirit to interpret it to our hearts.

     When you and I do this we are then able to stand in God’s grace towards us. Listen to the words of Peter in his first letter. “By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.”(13) You and I are to strengthen and encourage each other in our one common faith. To stir one another up is precisely that. “For we know that if our earthly house, (physical body) this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made from hands,”*we can only stir one another up as long as we remain in our physical bodies. To stir up the Holy Spirit who abides within us. Pressing on into the knowledge of Christ our Lord’s purity.

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),”** (14) No matter how long you and I live in our earthly existence death can come very quickly. Surprisingly not many of God’s people talk about the subject in a positive fashion. After all; it is the door into paradise for those who believe. We have to be very careful, that you and I do not talk the same conversation about death as those who do not believe. Be positive about heaven. Hallelujah! God’s love for us while we are on the earth, and when we leave it, to go and be with Him. The apostle is not frightened about death, in fact he welcomes it. He more or less says, “ I am now about to die in the manner Jesus Christ my Lord spoke of to me.” “ Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands. And another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this. He said to him, “Follow Me”*** (15) the reminder I believe the apostle writes of here is none other than the Holy Spirit. Not the apostle Simon Peter. He will have departed from this world. “ I will make sure you have a reminder of these things after I have departed from the world”. It then cannot be the apostle. The only answer as far as I am concerned, God the Holy Spirit.

*II Cor.5:1**II.Pet.3:1***Jn.21:18-19.

                        

                                   

                       

 

         God’s Word can be trusted fully 1:16-21.

 

(16) The very first impression I get here from the words of the apostle is that he knows of the unrest within the brethren. News has reached his ears, that there are those who have accused him of lying. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He and the rest of the apostles refute the allegations. “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables...” The dictionary defines a fable as a supernatural story not based on fact. I may look upon what God does as supernatural. But that is not the case with God. His name suggests that very fact. What he does illustrates who he is. You and I exist including the whole of the created order because he loves us, and his will is that it should be so. We are the creativity of his hands as well as the whole of the universe, and every living breathing creature. These are facts that cannot be denied.

             You   and I have to realise that there will be those among the body who do not know Christ. We must be wary of them without being judgmental. Only the Righteous One is Judge. Jesus Christ our Lord. A critical spirit comes from within us, and not God. I need to keep a guard upon my heart. Something we all need to do.

             The major concern for the apostle is to help the brethren understand that what he speaks of is based on fact. A          critical time for what you and I believe. We have to keep     believing in the Word of God which is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Despite the entire enemy will bring against us.

         Fables are the words of men who do not believe wholly in God and his attributes. Unfortunately there are believers who allow darkness to enter into their hearts. Then, and now, as well as the foreseeable future. We must always protect our hearts with God the blessed Holy Spirit. Paul stands firm with him on the defence of the gospel.* “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest   the cross of Christ be made of no effect”

               I have to ask myself the question. What is the precise meaning of this? Obviously Peter and Paul stand firm in their view of this. When you and I speak without the help of the Spirit we are speaking from ourselves. Not from God. We ask God the Holy Spirit to use us in the proclamation of the gospel (the good news) of the Lord Jesus Christ. My personal belief is that the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ should radically revolutionize our pattern of living as it has done for me. We live to please our Lord. All of the time. Until you and I are called home. A word of warning, it will not happen over night. The flesh is always our enemy, and it will always try to find a way in. While we live down here upon the earth. Never fear, when we walk with God He will help us to be over comers

         The author immediately underlines the authority, and power of which they lived from. “When we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Power that had been invested in them by the solemn decree of God. Awesome! ** “….and what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power...”The source from which we draw our strength to live for the Lord of glory. We will also see the Lord of glory in all of his power when he comes for his church. Jesus Christ our risen glorified Lord. I want you to grasp what is being said here. Not idle words like the words of men. Words of life from the Word of life Jesus Christ. Guard them as precious jewels deep in your heart.

                    To prove the facts of something that had happened in the past, you need evidence from at least two people who had saw it. I can see that in the conclusion of the verse. “But were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.” No doubts in the mind of the apostle Simon Peter and the other apostles who had been with him. When they had been at the mountain of our Lord’s transfiguration. Notice the importance of the words the apostle uses to describe our glorious Lord. Jesus Christ is Royalty. Divine Majesty. We are His subjects. He is the King of kings. I know he is the Chief Shepherd, but I must not forget He is God. My God and yours. None of the apostles of the New Testament forgot. Apart from one. Neither should we, and because he loves us we should love him with all of our hearts. Do we? Majesty illustrates the unfading glory and greatness of    the Lord Jesus Christ that will last forever. ***        “And   they were all amazed at the majesty of God.”**** “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured  before them. His face shone like the sun, and          his clothes became white like the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

           While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him” A command they heeded until they were called home. The very same instruction I need to follow.

     (17)Our lives are not about us. Specifically with Jesus Christ on view here. He is being glorified as one who is God.

     God His Father identifies Jesus of Nazareth as one who belongs to him as His Son. Our Lord already knew this in his foreknowledge. Therefore; this was for the three apostles who stood with Him. The Father glorifies, and honours His Son with His own excellent glory. God our Father is pleased with His Son our Lord because of his obedience to Him. I said in respect of this that our lives are not about us. The life we have been given is to glorify our Saviour and Lord here upon the earth. To do what pleases Him, and be obedient to His voice. To do this with joy and gladness. (18) Again reiterating a vital precious truth in defence of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the use of the plural. “We heard this voice when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” Refuting all that the false teachers were accusing him of. I believe this comes under the theme of Christian apologetics. Something we all need to be involved in. The defence of the gospel of Christ our Lord. (19)The transfiguration witnessed by Simon Peter, James. And John confirms the prophecy of the Old Testament in which we see part of the prophecy being fulfilled. The final fulfilment is when the Kingdom of God is established upon the new heaven and earth. You and I who know Jesus Christ as Lord will see that day. Hallelujah! Regrettably this will be the Day of Judgment for the rest of mankind who refused to acknowledge Christ’s Lordship over them. They will be made to bow the knee before Him and face the consequences. Far too awful to contemplate. Meanwhile, as they continue to live, and breathe under the grace of God; they have the opportunity to turn back to Him.

      Take on board what I am saying to you. This is the apostle’s message to his readers in Asia Minor. A message you and I would do well to follow. Christ Himself will establish this new Kingdom when He comes back. But the false teachers amongst them deny this. Regardless of who would corrupt the Word of God; we must rely on the Spirit of God to lead us in all truth. I have to keep this buried in my heart through the help of the Holy Spirit, and let it shine from me. You have also to bear in mind the false teachers were among the flock. Still occurs in the earthly church of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to jealously guard our precious faith deep in our hearts of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Precisely the purpose of the apostle’s second letter to the believers in Asia Minor.

      “…as a light in a dark place…”Jesus Christ is the light who gives life to mankind. He is the light who abides in our hearts. When you and I allow Him to control our every impulse, while we live down here. His light will shine through us in those dark places. But there is another sense to it. The Morning Star, Jesus Christ our Lord ascends in our hearts, when the knowledge of Him is complete at His final revelation to us of His Person. In all His majesty, and glory. Further to that one more thing. He is the light who continues to shine, the darkness cannot stop Him. (II.Cor:4:6) “ For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The apostle Paul literally saw the face of the Lord of Glory, but could not look upon him in his Damascus experience. He was temporarily blinded by the light. I believe for the believers to whom the apostle Simon Peter addresses, the expression, the face of our Lord is spiritual, because they like us could not see him. There could have been exceptions, but there is no evidence to support this view. There are claims that my brothers and sisters have seen Christ in their visions and dreams. I do not deny that they have seen our Lord in this fashion. The whole purpose of the author now is to discredit the false prophets, and teachers. (20) There is only one meaning, and understanding to the interpretation of Scripture, for the whole body of Christ. No member of the body of Christ can have a different understanding to one another. It is all the one meaning, and one understanding for each of us. The words of Holy Scripture as contained within all of the books are God breathed. Godly men and women wrote down the words, including the prophets, guided, and influenced by the Holy Spirit. I have only reiterated what the author goes on to say next. (21) Many have claimed to be prophets from God. But in reality that has not been the case. Nobody can utter a prophetic word unless God the Holy Spirit speaks through them. You and I have the responsibility to search the spirits to see what is genuine. (Jer.23:26) “How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.” The second clause of the verse is true for all who would claim to be prophets of God. “But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (II.Sam.23:2) “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.” Clear evidence of what the apostle is talking of. The New Testament also corroborates the apostle’s view. (Lk 1:70) “As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began.” *I Cor.1:17;**Ephes.1:19;***Lk.9:43;****Mtt.17:1-5;

 

 

 

                          Corrupt Destructive Heresies 2:1-3.

 

(1) We do well to remember there will always be false prophets and false teachers. Anyone thinking otherwise is only deluding themselves.

         The author speaks very seriously of these issues of falseness. You and I have to be very careful to whom we listen to, always seek the Holy Spirit in order to give you guidance, when listening to someone preaching, teaching, or prophesying.

    The accuracy can only be checked with the Spirit against the Holy Scriptures. Jesus spoke of deception (Mtt.24:4) and Jesus answered and said to them, “Take heed that no one deceives you” The problem you and I have lies within ourselves. Everyone with no exception possesses freedom. Freedom to choose to think and do what we believe is right. The emphases are on you and me. No matter how much the evidence clearly illustrates that we are wrong sometimes we persist in that you and I are right. God did not make us into robots. He made us into free moral agents with the ability to choose. Good and evil.

    My own view upon false prophets and false teachers is that they have never known Jesus Christ as Lord. Even although they have went through every ritual belonging to the church of Christ. It is quite easy to fake things when you are desperate to belong. There is quite a popular saying; millions of people are attracted to Christianity but not all for the right reasons. The passage quite clearly depicts this view.

           We must cement what we believe by the continuous study of God’s Word. Great men and women of God did this in the past, and still do.

       I would like you to notice with me precisely how the apostle Simon Peter phrases his words in this verse. “Who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them.” They had a moral choice to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord or otherwise. The fact that they do this in secret points to the deliberateness of their rebellion against God.

         My own understanding of the matter is those who do this have never really known the Lord. If you  believe that the earth is more important than the kingdom  of God? We then must examine what we believe. Those who continue to hold on to their earthly existence at all costs will do as much as they can to further their own ends in the earthly church of Christ

      Destructive heresies come from being able to choose in a deliberate fashion what we want to believe and not what the Holy Spirit would have us believe.

      You and I need to look at the Greek terminology from which we get our expression heresies from,Haireseis. Comparing this word with heresy, and heretical. Comes from the root haireomai meaning to choose. There lies the problem.

     Add to that, preference and  opinion on what we think is right, going against what God’s word clearly instructs. Leads to disunity within the body of Christ. Disobedience and rebelling against the Spirit of God. Dangerous ground to be standing on. If that’s not bad enough worse is to follow. There will be those who deny the Lord. The fact that it happened then is also the fact that it happens now. Will continue to happen. To stop it from happening to us, we must be obedient to our Lord’s instructions, and do it gladly.

        Listen to what Jude has to say on the subject. Once the earthly brother of Jesus Christ. (Jd.1:4) “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn thee grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

            I would like to quote from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible.NKJV.Page 1801.Lord,despotes ( des-pot-ace);Strong’s #1203:The origin of the English word “ despot”. The word signifies owner,master,one who has absolute dominion, supreme authority, and unlimited power arising from ownership.Despotes includes total submission on our part to God’s will, not out of slavish fear or bondage, but joyfully and willingly. End of quote. The challenge lies with us.

           Not forgetting false prophets. The kind of prophets spoken of here led people away from God. Similar to the false prophets spoken of by God to Jeremiah (Jer.23:32.) in the Old Testament. When led away by false prophecies, those who allow these things to happen to them, become very reckless spiritually, and are morally bankrupt with no responsibility for their actions.

         I believe you and I must understand the truth of a prophecy by testing. The Word of God must be reinforced. I must be led to Jesus Christ my Lord, filling my heart with love for his church. At all times be in alignment with Holy Scripture, with its teachings, and doctrine. I need to have my faith strengthened by it having an honourable pursuit in life. Turning me from any wrong doing promoting me to seek a life of godliness in and through the righteousness of my risen glorified Lord. Jesus Christ. Finding acceptance from my fellow brothers and sisters who are truly in Christ Jesus our risen Lord. Building up the body of Christ to equip them for the work of ministry. There follows a very grim warning for those only interested in themselves. “…And bring upon themselves swift destruction.” I would like you to note that what happens to them is brought about by what they do. God is not to blame. The seriousness of their error is not missed by the apostle’s pen. I think it is of the most crucial importance that we read the rest   of the passage. The importance and the weightiness of the words cannot be missed.( II.Pet.2:2,3) “  And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

           (3)By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction will not slumber.” Where are you in all of this? If you are following the Lord in faithfulness to his word    you have no need to worry. I ask myself the very same question. Working out my own salvation with fear and trembling relying on our God.

 

 

                     Destruction of false teachers.2:4-11.

 

(4)We need to be aware of the penalty of rebellion against God. The person or creature that actively rebels against our God. The Lord Jesus Christ and God His Father are guilty of their own actions. Therefore; the responsibility is theirs individually, and collectively. The author uses the past tense while describing the actions of rebellious angels. God did not spare them. They sinned against Him. In other words rebelled against his authority. All sin, no matter how big and small is against God. We need to see the seriousness of it to appreciate God’s love for all of us. The more we see of that, the more we begin to love Him.

            The Lord hates and abhors sin. Because these angels had sinned against or rebelled against Him he cast them down to hell. Is there such a place? I have to say yes! The angels and             the flood in Noah’s time are more than likely included here. The English Dictionary describes it as a place in Christian thought, as well as Jewish, for the souls of the dead. Including rather interestingly those of the Islamic belief. The place of severe punishment and torment for those souls that have         been banished forever. Our Lord taught it. Therefore upon     that   grounding I believe the truth and accuracy of it.

            Going back to what the apostle Simon Peter had said in regard to the angels and the flood in Noah’s time; we should have a careful look at what he said in his first letter. The same theme occurs. (I.Pet.3:18-20.)  I know it speaks of our risen Lord appearing to the demon spirits in captivity of the prison in hell. They were behind the corruption of the world in the time of Noah. My thoughts on the subject are as follows Jesus Christ in his resurrection triumph and glory depicts his divine sovereign rule over them. There is no response from these demonic spirits to Christ’s victorious triumph over them in his glorious resurrection. No second opportunity to respond for an entrance into heaven. Scorches the idea of a second chance while in hell. No salvation. You have to take it in this life. Once you leave the earth without showing repentance, you will be kept in prison until Judgment. The Judgment spoken of here will occur on the last day. Our Lord’s words are sufficient to show the severity of the judgment of God that will fall upon those who do not repent from their sin in this life.

           (Lk.17:26-30.) “And as it was in the days of Noah. so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. (27): They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all (28) Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;(29) but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.(30)Even so it will be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” The Son of Man you and I know is the Son of God, our Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ. But not to those who have rejected him. On the day of his appearance, they will know who he is, and Judgment will begin. Accept his mercy, and love, now.

                  (5-7) I had spoken of how God hates sin. Rebellion against God. Ungodly people will continue to rebel against his love, compassion, and authority. Before continuing I would like to make it clear that it is not in God’s will that anyone should perish. He loves the whole of mankind, but hates their sin. Those who rebel, he continues to love them, but they cut themselves off from him, because of their sin. Look at the punishment they bring upon themselves, because of outright rebellion against God our Saviour, and his Father. Flooded the earth by which the wicked drowned. Turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes. Buried the ungodly.

          This is an example to all who live ungodly lives of what will befall them. Remember they choose to live in this fashion. The warning is there for them to heed. (7) Formerly, Abraham’s nephew Lot lived in the city of Sodom before the Lord destroyed it by fire. He rescued Lot before executing Judgment.( Gen.19:16)And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hand of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

            You and I live in a fallen world, and there will be times when great evil comes against us. We must rid ourselves of the notion that everybody will want to be saved, just not true. Of course many will be saved, but not all. When the enemy brings all his forces to bear upon us, and there seems to be no exit turn to God. He will make a way of escape for us.

            (9) Crucially we must believe, and understand that God will deliver us out of temptation, and those who persecute us will face judgment while they persist in this attitude towards God. But while they breathe there is always the opportunity for them to turn to the Lord. Repenting from their rebellious attitude. The rescuing of the godly. (Pss34:15-19) The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. (16)The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (17)The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. (18) The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. (19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

             You and I who know Jesus Christ as Lord will be delivered out of all our afflictions. We may go through them as we do but we will be delivered from them. I would like to look at the end of verse 9 it includes all who are unjust right to the very end   “….and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,” Now these are those who will always act in a unjust manner. The ungodly who think they know everything but who know nothing. This includes all of those who remain ungodly until the Day of Judgment.

     We must bear in mind that those believers the apostle addresses in this his second letter have a problem with false teachers

      Many evangelical denominations deal with the problem as soon as it comes to light. There are those who do not, and the problem gets worse. I praise God that I belong to one that deals with the problem right away.

    When the New Testament writers speak of the flesh it signifies what you and I want. Not God. What the natural man in us wants. A very dangerous and slippery slope to slide down upon.

      Here we see with good reason why the apostle warns us to be aware of all that is taking place around us. The remedy can be found in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy.( II.Tim.2:22) “ Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness,faith,love,peace with those who call upon the Lord with a pure heart.” Do not be self serving. (10) Ungodliness was all around the primitive early church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing new. The only difference; the devil has become desperate, because he knows his time is short. The apostle is well aware of his present situation. The description of these so called teachers begs belief. They have forgotten in their godless conduct that their time on earth will be short no matter how long they will live. You have to keep bearing in mind they have entered the fold through stealth. False teachers are already here. They have cunningly entered into the earthly church of our Lord Jesus Christ. You and I have to guard our hearts against false doctrine.

        The apostle gives a horrendous list of their evil actions to warn us not to be like them. Ungodly people who walk in uncleanness and despise authority. Quite presumptuous in their opinions. Stubborn in their self willed opinions of themselves. But worse to follow is that they speak evil of the glorious ones things they do not understand in their human finite intellect. They are miles apart from God.

          The difficulty we have here is who are the glorious ones that the ungodly speak evil of? I believe these are the fallen angels who had fought on the side of the devil. Superior beings against the weaknesses of rebellious sinful humanity. (11) The angels although superior in might and power over these godless creatures will not bring accusations against the devil and his angels before the Lord. A perilous state to be in. But as it was then, it is still the case. (Jd.9) Michael the archangel did not bring an accusation against the Devil while contending over the burial of Moses body because of the fact that he had killed an Egyptian overseer. All he said to the enemy was the Lord rebuke you. Judgment belongs to God. I believe we can be very critical and judgmental. We should not to do it. Ask the Spirit of God to help us to be like our risen glorified Lord.

 

 

                  The immorality of false teachers.2:12-17.

 

(17 I would like you to see here with me the choices that you and I make are our responsibility. When you and I make bad choices we must live with the consequences they bring. The author repeats this message over and over. Look at the end of the verse. “Will perish in their own corruption,” Immoral acts and thoughts come from within us. Frightening, but it needs to be faced, so we can free ourselves from them. Not so the immoral false teachers of whom the author writes to warn the believers in Asia Minor.

        The language that the apostle uses to describe these immoral false teachers is very graphic, and terrifying. Ending in a grisly and gruesome finality. “But these like natural brute beasts.” To be likened to natural brute beasts. What a come down for the immoral depraved teachers. When you consider God gave Adam

                            rule over all the animal kingdom. (Gen.1:26) Then God said, “ Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

                        The term brute, as I believe the apostle visualises it, is a creature that no longer possesses the ability to reason in a normal fashion. There is no logic to their thinking. They are cruel, stupid, and sensual. I would like to repeat with the apostle the false teachers have brought this upon themselves. Like every other immoral false teacher that will come. We must continue to be alert.

                            “….made to be caught and destroyed…”This is what their end will be. Unbelievable what great wickedness can come out of earthly finite faculties. The human heart. Rebellion against God the Bible defines as sin is totally irrational because you and I are mortal. God is immortal. He will have the last word. There will come a day when God will no longer tolerate sin and rebellion against Him. I do not want you to repent from your sin against God because of fear. But because of the fact he loves you. The love that compelled him to sacrifice his only begotten Son on your behalf, Jesus Christ; that if you ask him to forgive you of your sins. He will. Accepting his love and kingly rule over you. The only entrance into heaven is in and through Jesus Christ the Son of God.

  (13) Reaping what we sow. you have heard the expression, what goes around comes around. If you do evil? You will receive evil. Do good instead of evil. You and I may not receive good for doing good. But our Father in heaven will reward us for doing good. The immoral false teachers are not like that. However; a day of reckoning is coming fast upon them. The apostle speaks of them receiving wages of unrighteousness. I do not like the sound of that. Sounds foreboding and formidable, very depressing. The grim reality. To be cut off from God is a dreadful prospect.

             Read what the apostle Paul has to say on this subject. ( Phil.3:19) “whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly-who set their minds on earthly things” Quite clearly they do not worship the one true God whom we worship. Carousing simply means to revel in their own pursuits satisfying their own selfish appetites with out a sideways glance at what their conduct of life is doing to others. Coining the phrase, “ I’m alright Jack!” Selfishness has no place in the church of Christ.

       I like the way the apostle describes the actions of the false teachers in the next line. “Carousing or revelling in their own deceptions while they feast with you,” My belief on this matter is that these immoral teachers of falseness have become so besotted with themselves that they now have swallowed their own lies about what they believe. The truth is beyond them. An abyss that they will never overcome. Already in the midst of them. Frightening! The fact that the people the apostle is warning them of are already there. What is it the author says? “….while they feast with you,” Bogus false teachers were already there. And are here. Turn again to the writings of the apostle Paul for his thoughts on the matter. He corroborates, affirms, and confirms exactly what Simon Peter the apostle is instructing the believers to whom he writes. Hard words, but they had to be. Then, and now. (I.Cor11:20-22.) “Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.(21)For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.(22) What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.” I cannot stress enough the importance of Simon Peter’s second letter to the believers in Asia Minor. An absolute of what had happened and continues to occur. We must grasp the lessons of what needs to be taught to our own spiritual well being. (14)Reading what the apostle has written here. I find it very difficult to believe that the false teachers belong in any shape and form to the Lord.

       “..Having eyes full of an adulteress and cannot cease from sin,” Adulteress is a word that has a sexual connotation wanting something that does not belong to you. Sexual intercourse outside of marriage or with someone else, rather than your husband or wife. Sexual immorality is a terrible tragedy and the repercussions are painful. Even when you have repented before the Lord of such acts. The longing for something that is not yours, and clearly belongs to the Lord and the person to whom he has given it to is adultery in his eyes. The problem the apostle had with these false teachers was the fact; they still called themselves Christians, despite the fact that they were not living like people of God. Quite the contrary. “That cannot cease from sin,” A terrible indictment!

     The Lord can see all that we do and say. There is nothing hidden from Him. All of the immoral false teachers had lost sight of that. (15) The apostle speaks of these immoral and false teachers of departing from the right way. But I believe they did not really know the right way. The right way is contrasted with the way of Balaam. The way was a description of early primitive Christianity. Its beginnings. Commonly called the way. (Acts.9:2) “..So that if he found any of the way,” (Num.22:5, 7 ;) Balaam was ready to curse the Lord’s people for profit. Exactly what the false teachers were doing, exploiting, and deceiving the earthly church of our Lord for personnel gain. (Rev.2:14)The stark reality of compromise continues to live with us within the earthly church of the Lord Jesus. Christ.  Jesus spoke to John on this very critical issue. There is sexual immorality happening within Christ’s church. I believe the apostle Simon Peter is dealing with the same problem in this his second letter. Sexual immorality is the cause of breakdowns in Christian marriages. Not the only one, but the biggest one. Listen to our risen Lord. “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.” If you and I fall into the trap of having sexual relationships outside of our marriage, we will never be allowed to enter into heaven. I use the word, “if,” because not all of us will stay in that trap. Anyone who finds themselves in this situation I urge you to repent, and seek forgiveness from the Lord. Speak to the one whom you are married to and if possible get their forgiveness. Better to come from you than someone else. For those who are not married, do not have sexual intercourse with someone you have no intention of marrying, and only after marriage. Precisely what was happening in the early church the era of Christ’s apostles. Remember; the New Testament authors were writing to Christians like you and I. (16) The gift of prophecy belongs to the Holy Spirit. He speaks through members of Christ’s church. They are called by God to be prophets. But at any given time the Holy Spirit will speak through their earthly tongues. The gift of prophecy comes from the power and influence of The Holy Spirit. He is the source of all prophecy leading to the edification and up building  of all God’s people. To build and further the Kingdom of God. He is not there to be used for the earthly desires of people. We are told God rebuked Balaam for his iniquity. The revelation God gave to him to give to others he wanted to sell it for gain. It was not his to sell. Although he received a diviners fee. (Num.22:7) You need to read the whole passage. (17) “ Wells without water,” They have nothing for to  nourish their spirits upon. What          they teach is empty absent of the power of God the Holy Spirit. Leaving God’s people unfed.

 

 (The apostle proceeds to a further description of seducing teachers, whom he sets forth,

1. As wells, or fountains, without water. Observe, (1.) Ministers should be as wells or fountains, where the people may find instruction, direction, and comfort; but (2.) False teachers have nothing of this to impart to those who consult them: the word of truth is the water of life, which refreshes the souls that receive it; but these deceivers are set upon spreading and promoting error, and therefore are set forth as empty, because there is no truth in them. In vain then are all our expectations of being fed and filled with knowledge and understanding by those who are themselves ignorant and empty.

2. As clouds carried with a tempest. When we see a cloud we expect a refreshing shower from it; but these are clouds which yield no rain, for they are driven with the wind, but not of the Spirit, but the stormy wind or tempest of their own ambition and covetousness. They espouse and spread those opinions that will procure most applause and advantage to themselves; and as clouds obstruct the light of the sun, and darken the air, so do these darken counsel by words without knowledge and wherein there is no truth; and, seeing these men are for promoting darkness in this world, it is very just that the mist of darkness should be their portion in the next.

Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary)

 

      The lies of the false teachers. 2 18-22.                   


(18) Great swelling words that have no substance in them, because they are built upon human pretense.There is nothing but emptiness .To you and I the words of false teachers are nothing. Meaningless! They do not come from God. Not happy to conduct themselves in their own miserable rebellious actions they try to tempt others to join them. (Rom.1:32)  “..who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Barely escaped points to the fact that they are new coverts to Christianity who are still to be grounded and rooted in Christian doctrine. The teachings of God our Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord, his Son. If you are a recent convert to our Lord I implore you to read his word which is the Bible. Love Jesus Christ our Lord and serve him with gladness in your heart.

    (19)The false teachers are now in the grip of Satan whom they at one time had been freed from by the shed blood of Christ. Could they have known Him? Going by their actions depicted here; I would have to say; No!  Slaves of corruption, corrupted by the evil influence of the Devil. To be trapped in the miry clay, again. This time with no hope of getting out. Prisoners of the evil one. The darkness of the enemy has beguiled them into thinking that they can offer liberty or freedom. However; the freedom that is on offer here is to trap the unwary to become the enemy’s pawns once more. They will once again become his slaves. To stop unwary believers from serving Jesus Christ our Lord and from growing in Him. How quick, are they to forget, that by what they do and say, has again led then back into enslavement of sin. (Jn.8:31-36)(Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. (32) “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (33) They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, “You will be made free?”(34) Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. (35) “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. (36) “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”) (20) Here is a serious warning to those who thought they knew Jesus Christ our Lord. And also we who know Him. A warning of what can happen. It is hard to imagine being in a worse state than those who have yet to know our Lord. Their thinking had become completely irrational. Worse than those who do not know the risen Lord. In a worse condition than them. (Mtt.12:43-45,) (“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.(44) “ Then he says, “ I will return to my house from which I came.” And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. (45) “Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”) (21)  If they have rejected the holy commandment, as it looks likely from the reading of this passage; that the route back to God is through Jesus Christ our Lord, in so doing there is no longer  salvation for them. Dreadful! We must always keep to the forefront of our minds the fact that the author repeatedly underlined that they had only themselves to blame. (22) The false teachers are likened to a dog returning to his own vomit. How foolish! To go back the way ruled again under Satan. Ending up in his clutches. Absolute fools. All of their own making. ( Prov.26:11.) ( “ As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.” )Let us not be fools. Instead let us pursue a life of holiness, pleasing to our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

                                              

 

                                      The promise of God’s return of his Son. 3:1-9

 

(1) After warning his reader about false teachers. The apostle turns to the flock in order to encourage them. Drink in the warmth of his love towards his fellow brothers, and sisters, united in the love of Christ. Beloved is how he describes his love, and passion for them. To have that kind of love, you and I must love our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ .When I speak of loving Jesus Christ it means putting ourselves out. Do what the Holy Spirit asks of you. Be obedient gladly pleasing God in all that you do and say. Even when it is inconvenient for you. When you and I do that, God’s love automatically flows through us to others. The question God asks you and me is crucial for the furtherance of his Kingdom. Do you only want God to bless you? Or do you want to be a blessing to others?  I believe Jesus Christ our Lord said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” He gave his life for the world. Not because he was forced, but because he loved it. The souls of mankind are precious to him. You cannot love men and women unless you love God. Totally impossible without our Lord. Let the Holy Spirit make a difference in your life. Ask God to give you a passion for souls. When you put God first in what he wants you to do, all of your other needs will be met. My wife and I have met this challenge in a small way. But we want it to be bigger in order to see many men, women, and children coming into the Kingdom. This reinforces the point that you and I have to live lives that are morally and ethical pleasing to the Lord. I am not saying we will always get it right, but that is what we should strive for with the help of God the Holy Spirit. Let our lives be free from any falsehood and hidden motives. The apostle writes this his second letter to stir up the purity of The Holy Spirit within their hearts. God the Holy Spirit who abides within our hearts. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will always be tested to see what kind of substance it is made of. The testing will continue until each of us is called home to glory. (2) I would like you to take on board what the author dictates here. He emphases the unity between the Old Testament and the apostles teaching. The apostolic teaching is the New Testament. The new is the fulfilment of the old. But it has only been partially realised. My belief that the word commandment as the apostle Simon Peter understood it is the whole of the Lord’s teaching. (Jn.14:26) “ But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, H e will teach you all things, and bring too your remembrance all things I said to you.”(3) Uppermost in the apostle’s mind is that there will be those who scoff or ridicule God’s inactivity because of the circumstances surrounding the flock of his day.

           The argument is that God will not act because he did not do so yesterday. We know that is not true. Do not let despondency fill your hearts. It is a tool of the Devil. Our God is always quick to act. Those who mock and ridicule God’s people who pursue holiness and upright lives are consumed by their own ungodly appetites. (4) “Where is the promise of His coming?” They look back to the beginning of creation. Sadly for the complainers certain details have been overlooked because of the passing of time. The fathers of whom the apostle speaks of are the Old Testament patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (5) The false teachers are wilful in the way they speak and act. Wilful simply means to be deliberate in an action taken against what you know is right. There is no excuse for the falseness of the statements brought against the believers. There is neither foundation nor validity in their accusations. They had chosen to forget that it was by the word of God’s mouth that the heavens of old, as well as the earth, standing in water and out of water had been made. You and I must never forger that. (Gen.1:6) Then God said, “Let there be (sky) firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” The sky according to the Dictionary is a vault over the earth. God has made a vault over the seas and oceans .Stops it from falling into the universe. Breathe taking for ordinary mortals such as ourselves. God in his love towards us thinks of everything. Hallelujah! How could these foolish teachers have forgotten! But obviously they had. A warning to us all. (Gen.1:9) Again by the word of his mouth God made dry land appear.

        Effortless action unseen by mortals. The difficulty of the false teachers is that they had brought God down to their level which meant in their eyes he was no longer God. When you deliberately choose to forget God that is what happens to you. (6) Foolish people they had forgotten God had already intervened against the depravity of mankind by flooding the world then by drowning. Do you know God hates and abhors sin. He loves the sinner, but not their iniquity.( Gen.6:5-8) Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.(7) So the Lord said, “ I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (8) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

   (7) Time is of the essence. While these foolish false teachers in the apostle’s time had time to breathe, they still had the opportunity to repent.  The answer to why Christ’s second coming is yet to come. Do you know Jesus Christ in an intimate and personal fashion? Does he speak to you? I cannot answer for you, but you know the answers.

    Accept his  love when you can, and make Him the Lord of your life. All you need to do is pray quietly in a private place, asking him to forgive you of your sins, telling him that you want him to be the Lord of your life. After you have done that God’s Spirit will lead you to the church he would have you worship him in.

         The reason  why the world still exists is only because of God’s word like in the account in Genesis it is all powerful. ( Col.1:15-18) The apostle Paul speaking of our glorified Lord. He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation.(16) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him (17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.(18) And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.

       But judgment is coming for the ungodly and unrepentant. The Lord will not tolerate sin forever. (Isa.66:15) For behold, the Lord will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire.

          In his second letter to the believers at Thessalonica the Apostle Paul spoke on this very important subject giving weight to the author’s affirmation of judgment at the end of the end times. Agreeing with the Old Testament prophets who prophesied of the judgment to come (II.Thess.1:6-8) in line with the apostolic teaching of the New Testament. The source Jesus Christ our Lord.  “…Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with affliction those who trouble you, (7) and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, (8) in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The imperative lies with us to take the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ into the streets of whatever city and town you live in helped with God the Holy Spirit. Showing love, compassion, and the mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord who abides in you and me to those whom the Spirit of God would lead us to.

           If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour being born again? You have the responsibility of taking part in the great commission of evangelizing the world through your witness and testimony in whatever company you find yourself. I am not really concerned if you feel uncomfortable sitting at home doing nothing. God is not calling you to go and speak to numbers on the streets. Although he may very well do.

     He expects you to share the good news of Jesus Christ his Son with your family, neighbours and friends.

         I was very afraid of going out and doing street ministeries.Preaching and being an assistant pastor I was comfortable with. But to ask me to speak to strangers about the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.? No thank you! From the time of my graduation at the Bible Training Institute I have been running away from what God had called me to do. Roughly 29 years ago. No matter what occupation I found myself in I was miserable. I preached whatever message the Lord gave me, but was never happy with myself. Since joining Glasgow Elim I have found the real person of our Lord Jesus Christ that does not mean to say our denomination has exclusive rights to Him. He met me when I needed Him most. The change was dramatic. I began to lean on Him to do the work he has called me to do. Speaking of Him to whomever I came in contact with led by the Holy Spirit. I found the source to strengthen me, and enable me to speak with boldness to the people God leads me to. I got involved with the street ministry team of our church with Irene my wife led by pastor Elizabeth Jack. I have always sowed seed from the day I was baptized in a Baptist church by a charismatic minister by the name of David Black. I was born again, but did not realise I needed the help of the Holy Spirit to please the Lord.  The same Holy Spirit that will help you. It was just after I had been involved in the street evangelism that the Lord called me to leave my place of employment in order to take the gospel wherever He would send me. As long as I was faithful to him he would meet my needs. That was three years ago. All glory and honour to our God! Hallelujah!

         Why do I tell you this? It is because, if you lean on God the Holy Spirit to do the work, he has called you to do? Nothing is impossible. No matter what you are or who you are. I was working for a contract security company in the local Jobcentre plus, reading and studying my Bible at lunch time. When, before I knew what I was doing, I was on the phone to my operations manager in front of everyone. I heard my voice say to him. “Jim, the Lord has asked me to leave my work, and take the gospel to wherever he will send me. I believe four weeks notice is required, and he accepted it.” When I came home I felt a tremendous weight had been lifted from my shoulders by the Lord. My daughter when she saw me said, “Dad, you look great!” When God the Holy Spirit asks you to do something, and it is for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. Do it gladly. There is no reason to sit all the time, and do nothing. Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you to live a life pleasing to the Lord. He will do that for you. My witness and testimony is only one from the members of the body of Christ. There are many more. Study God’s word so that you will become more like him (8) Here is a great promise to the whole world and the reason why we should live sacrificial lives pleasing to our Lord. A play on words. Time is an earthly thing controls the lives we live. But not God. The apostle reminds his brethren that a day with the Lord can be a thousand years. A thousand years can be like a day. Time is of no consequence to our God. He is keeping the door of repentance open as long as possible until it is closed.Contiuing to love mankind. (9)Quote.Page.1257.The New Bible Commentary Revised.Inter-Varsity Press. “This verse has been cited as an argument for universalism: in fact it teaches the opposite. The plain thrust of it is after the second coming, ushering in Christ’s judgment, there will be no further opportunity for repentance, and so God in his mercy is giving men as long as possible to repent.” End of quote. Universalism is a doctrine that has no Biblical foundation expresses the view that because God loves everyone they will be saved. The Bible condemns such false teaching.


 

                                    The Apostle Reasserts The Coming of the Day of the Lord.    3:10-13.

 

(10) Jesus Christ our Lord will come like a thief the night. He will come suddenly. Nobody knows when he will come. You and I must live lives pleasing to God. The          heavens will disappear with a great noise. (Pss.102:25, 26 ;) “Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands. (26) They will perish, but you will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed.” The elements are what the earth is made up of includes every bit of material. It will all be burned up. The works of men will also go up in smoke. (11) Because the great and terrible Day of the Lord is coming nearer and nearer it should spur us on in godly living. Jesus taught us that we should do this. (Lk.12:35ff.) “Let your waists be girded and your lamps burning ;( 36) and you yourselves be like men who wait for your master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.” We find the very same instruction in the letters of Paul. (Rom.13:11.ff.) “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.(12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (13) Let us walk properly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. (14) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.” Last but not least the apostle Simon Peter. (I.Pet.1:13 ;) “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I believe it says it all, why we should be committed in the service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (12) To live our lives in the pursuit of the holiness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ will hasten the coming of the day of the Lord. We should be consumed with fire and zeal to do God’s bidding in the building of his church. There is coming a day when it will not be possible to do it. (13) “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

 

 

 

           

            Continue in the righteousness of God our Saviour Jesus Christ...3:14-18.

 

(14) Be diligent, in other words keep walking in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pouring it out upon others until the day He appears before us. We are to be without spot or blemish like the false teachers. Peace is what fills our hearts when you and I are right with God. (15)The longsuffering belonging to God for you and me in his loving patience  towards us is not only for you and me. This attribute of God is also afforded to the fallen of mankind. In order that they may repent when there is still time. Meanwhile in the time we have left you and I are to work out our own salvation with the help of The Holy Spirit.

     The author ends this verse by adding the heaviness of his own apostolic office behind Paul’s authority as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even although he found some of Paul’s letters hard to understand. (16) There were those who twisted Paul’s writings to mean something that was not intended which make it more important to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and help us in the understanding of Scripture. Always look at the passage. (17 to 18)Concentrate all of your effort and time getting to know Jesus more and more as time goes by. Continue to keep growing in His grace and mercy with the knowledge He loves you.

 

                                     Bibliography

 

      New Spirit Filled Life Bible. NKJV, Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary. The New Bible Commentary Revised Inter- Varsity Press.


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