Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

A series of verse by verse studies by Gunther von Harringa Sr

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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2 Peter 3 - Part 16

December 1, 2019


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon out time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 16, and today’s date is December 1, 2019. I’ll read verses 7-14,


“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. {8} But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. {11} [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, {12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”


We left off in our previous study with the last part of verse 10, “...shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”


Shall Melt [lyo:G3089] 


The term “shall melt” is primarily translated as “loose,” and to a lesser degree as “unloose,” “destroy,” “dissolve,” “put off,” “break up,” and “break down.” The following passages illustrate some of the ways in which God employs this Greek word that contains a number of significant nuances that relate to end-time truth in particular that God has been unveiling to His elect people:


First of all, we see that God is stressing the importance of this word, in that He uses it three times - in verses 10-12 - as, “shall melt” or “shall be dissolved”:


But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt [lyo:G3089] with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. {11}[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved [lyo:G3089], what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, {12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved [lyo:G3089], and the elements shall melt [teko:G5080] with fervent heat?”


In verse 12 you might have also noticed the expression, “shall melt,” (teko:G5080) which conveys the same idea, even though it is an unrelated word that God has chosen to insert only in this passage. Notice, too, the association with the terms,“fervent heat” and “shall be burned up.” This language also reminds us of what we find in 1 Corinthians 3:11-17, which is now taking place in this present day of judgment:  


“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. {12} Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; {13} Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. {14} If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. {15} If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. {16} Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? {17} If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.”


In Revelation 5:2 and 5, the word, “to loose” is used twice, in which God at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (May 21, 1988) began to unseal the spiritual understanding that that He had carefully concealed (in Daniel 12:4 and 9), because it was the proper “time and season” to disclose that information: 


“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose [lyo:G3089] the seals thereof? ... {5} And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose [lyo:G3089] the seven seals thereof.


In Revelation 20:1-3 and 7-8 this word surfaces in verses 3 and 7 as “be loosed” and “shall be loosed” respectively; once again, this “loosing” of Satan occurred at the start of the Great Tribulation, and please note how deception is being highlighted in verse 7, which was the chief hallmark of the Great Tribulation:


“And I saw an angel [Christ] come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. {2} And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, {3} And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed [lyo:G3089]  a little season. ... {7} And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed [lyo:G3089] out of his prison, {8} And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.”


On the other hand, in Acts 27:41 this term emerges as “was broken” in this chapter which is a historical parable concerning  the spiritual destruction of God’s own “house” first, and once again, at the start of the Great Tribulation: “And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken [lyo:G3089] with the violence of the waves.”


In verse 19 of  John 2:13-22 after Jesus had “cleansed” the Temple (which also points to judgment beginning at God’s “house” first), this expression appears as “destroy,” which is a veiled reference to the Atonement and Resurrection that took place at “...the foundation of the world”:


“And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, {14} And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: {15} And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; {16} And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. {17} And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. {18} Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? {19} Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy [lyo:G3089] this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. {20} Then said the Jews, Forty and six years [ “23” (judgment) X 2 (doubled) = 43] was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? {21} But he spake of the temple of his body. {22} When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”


The “forty and six years,” in which the Temple was under construction is significant. First, Jesus did not deny the time frame. Secondly “23” is a number in the Bible that can point to “judgment;” it is “doubled” because Christ “came” (in judgment) to first judge all the churches and denominations, worldwide and without exception at the onset of the Great Tribulation (on May 21, 1988). Then at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation (on May 21, 2011), that same judgment transitioned to the world at large, and continues right up to our present day. The reason why it is so grievous is because God shut the “Door” (i.e., “Christ”), and His salvation program ended, because the rest of the “nations of the elect” had already been saved during the last 17 years of the Great Tribulation, known as the “latter rain.” This is  why Matthew 24:14 infers that the Great Commission was indeed fulfilled: 


“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”


With Fervent Heat [kausoo:G2741] 


The next expression that we want to examine is “with fervent heat,” which is only found again in verse 12 of 2 Peter 3 as “with fervent heat”:


“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” [kausis:G2741 ] 


Be Burned [kausoo:G2740] 


This word, “with fervent heat” is derived from a parent word that only shows up in verse 8 of  Hebrews 6:4-9, which is another very significant passage having to do with God’s judgment beginning first at His own “house;” it is translated as “be burned”: 


“For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, {5} And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, {6} If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame. {7} For 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: {8} But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose end [is] to be burned. [kausoo:G2740]  {9} But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” 


Furthermore, “with fervent heat” also has a “grandparent” word, which, in turn, is rendered 10 times as “burn,” (kaio:G2545) as the subsequent citations underscore:


“Burn” [kaio:G2545] 


Keep this term in mind, because when we get down to the last word in verse 10, “shall be burned up” we will see that the main word in that compound Greek expression, is going to be this word, “kaio” (G2545): 


John 15:6 declares: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.” [kaio:G2545]


Hebrews 12:18 likewise affirms: “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned [kaio:G2545] with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,”


Verse 5 of Revelation 4:1-5 records what John saw: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. {2} And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne. {3} And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. {4} And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. {5} And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning [kaio:G2545] before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”


Verses 8 and 10 of Revelation 8:1-10 refer to God’s judgment on His own “house” first at the beginning of the Great Tribulation: “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. {2} And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. {3} And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. {4} And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. {5} And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. {6} And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. {7}  The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. {8} And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning [kaio:G2545] with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; {9} And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. {10} And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning [kaio:G2545] as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;” 


Verse 20 of Revelation 19:11-21 speaks about the warfare between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, leading up to May 21, 2011, when Satan was defeated, and the day of judgment began: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. {12}  His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. {13} And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. {14} And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. {15} And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. {16} And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. {17} And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; {18} That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great. {19} And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. {20} And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning [kaio:G2545] with brimstone. {21} And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”


Verse 8 of Revelation 21:1-8 contrasts the destiny of God’s saints with the utter annihilation of the wicked, as their memory will be obliterated forever: “And 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} And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. {3} And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. {4} And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. {5} And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. {6} And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. {7} He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. {8} But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth [kaio:G2545] with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”


In spite of the fact that this term, “with fervent heat” is only found in 2 Peter 3:10 and 12, yet the way that God employs its parent and grandparent words to underscore this picture of an intense firestorm is undeniable. Let’s proceed with the next two expressions, “the earth” and “the works” that are subject to the wrath of God, which as we shall see, is taking place today as Satan’s kingdom is being “divided”:  


The Earth [ge:G1093] & The Works [ergon:G2041]


These two terms, “the earth” and “the world” are only found together in the following two passages, and by contrast, speak about the “work of Christ”:


The first example is in the Lord’s “high priestly” prayer in John 17:1-5, in which this term crops up in verse 4, as “the earth” and “the work”: 


“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: {2} As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. {3} And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. {4} I have glorified thee on the earth [ge:G1093]: I have finished the work [ergon:G2041] which thou gavest me to do. {5} And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” 


Verse 10 of Hebrews 1:1-13 is one of the greatest proclamations in the Bible regarding some of the Lord’s manifold Roles as: “Eternal God,” as “the Word,” as Savior” (“...at the foundation of the world,”) as Creator,” and as Judge”


“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, {2} Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; {3} Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; {4} Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. {5} For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? {6} And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. {7} And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. {8} But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. {9} Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. {10} And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: {11} They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; {12} And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. {13} But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?


Shall Be Burned Up [katakaio:G2618]


As I mentioned earlier, the last word in verse 10 is “shall be burned up,” comprised of the preposition, “kata” [(G2596), primarily rendered as “according to”] and “kaio” (G2545), the grandparent word of “with fervent heat” that we discussed a little while ago, as these next citations highlight:


Matthew 13:30 and 40 is a chapter that deals with the “wheat” (“God’s elect”) and the “tares” (“the non-elect”) that were found in all churches and denominations during the era of the church age; these terms are rendered as “burn” and “burned” respectively: 


“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn [katakaio:G2618] them: but gather the wheat into my barn. ... {40} As therefore the tares are gathered and burned [katakaio:G2618]

 in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.”


Earlier today I quoted from 1 Corinthians 3:15, about the “trial by fire” from which the elect would emerge intact (“gold, silver, precious stones”), whereas the non-elect (“wood, hay, and stubble”) would succumb to that raging inferno, and be destroyed; this word is expressed as “shall be burned”: “If any man's work shall be burned [katakaio:G2618], he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”


We also considered Revelation 8, having to do with God’s wrath on His own “house” first, and in verse 7 this word is translated as “burnt up”:  “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up [katakaio:G2618], and all green grass was burnt up.”


One last reference we can look at appears in Revelation 18:8, in which God’s judgment is riveted on the world at large in our present day of judgment: “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned [katakaio:G2618] with fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her.”


I think we’ll stop here for today. Lord willing, we will pick this up in our next study as we evaluate verse 11, “[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,” 


Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing next.

2 Peter 3 - Part 17

December 8, 2019


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 17, and today’s date is December 8, 2019. I’ll read verses 7-14,


But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. {8} But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. {11} [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, {12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.


Today we want to embark upon verse 11 which is a very significant question that God is posing to each one of His elect today:  [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,


The first part of this passage is a statement, [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved… in which we find the term “dissolved” or “lyo” (G3089), which, as I mentioned last week is key, as God includes it in verse 10 as “shall melt,” and then again in verses 11 and 12, as  “shall be dissolved,” which was already discussed last week.  So let’s first consider the two sets of terms, “Seeing then” and “that all,” along with “these things” and “shall be dissolved,” in which God is setting up this rhetorical question, by underscoring the reality that “what is taking place in the day of judgment” should most definitely impact the way in which the child of God is to live out his or her life to the glory of God every day. In other words, we are to examine our thoughts, words, and actions in light of the time we are living in. This is to be done because, first of all, none of us have any guarantee that we are going to be alive a minute from now, as we read in the following passages:


James 4:14 is a very pertinent reminder of the brevity of human life: Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.


For this reason, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 focuses our attention on what really matters in one’s brief life span typified by that small “dash” (“-”)  between one’s birth date and death date: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. {14} For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.


In our present day of judgment, God is indeed bringing “every work into judgment,” by His spiritual fire which is testing those who assert that they are indeed a child of God, as 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 maintains:


For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. {12} Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; {13} Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. {14} If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. {15} If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


Seeing Then [oun:G3767] That All [pas:G3956] 


The two words, “Seeing then” and “that all” are found together in a number of citations, and we will consider a few of these relevant exhortations:


Matthew 3:10 also refers to what is taking place in this day of judgment, in which these two terms are rendered as “therefore” and “every”: And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore [oun:G3767] every [pas:G3956] tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.


And Matthew 7:12 and 24 also translates these as, “Therefore” and “all things,” along with “therefore” and “whosoever”: Therefore [oun:G3767] all things [pas:G3956] whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. ... {24} Therefore [oun:G3767]  whosoever [pas:G3956] heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:


Likewise, Luke 14:33 expresses these as, “likewise” along with “whosoever” and “all’’:  So likewise [oun:G3767], whosoever [pas:G3956]  he be of you that forsaketh not all [pas:G3956] that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.


Similarly, Luke 21:36 offers this warning; here these are rendered as “therefore” along with, “always” (which literally reads: “in all time,” as it consists of three words) and “all”: Watch ye therefore [oun:G3767], and pray always [pas:G3956], that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all [pas:G3956] these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


1 Corinthians 10:31 translates these as “therefore” and “all”: “Whether therefore [oun:G3767] ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all [pas:G3956] to the glory of God.”


Likewise 2 Corinthians 7:1 maintains, “Having therefore [oun:G3767] these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all [pas:G3956] filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”


And verse 21 of 2 Timothy 2:20-21 renders these as “therefore” and “every”: “If a man therefore [oun:G3767] purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every [pas:G3956] good work.”


Last, but certainly not least, 1 Peter 4:7 solemnly reminds us: But the end of all things [pas:G3956]  is at hand: be ye therefore [oun:G3767] sober, and watch unto prayer.


These Things [touton:G5130] Shall Be Dissolved [lyo:G3089] 


We have already discussed the words, “shall be dissolved” in a previous study, however that expression, along with “these things” only surface together again in Matthew 5:13, in which these two words are translated as “shall break” and “of these”: 


“Whosoever therefore shall break [lyo:G3089] one of these [touton:G5130]   least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”


Now, we want to investigate the crucial question in the second part of verse 11, “...what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,” which also leads into the first part of verse 12, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God…”


What Manner [potapos:G4217]  [Of Persons]


The expression, “what manner [of persons]” is the Greek term, “potapos” (G4217) which occurs in the following five scriptures, and always as some form of the word, “manner,” modifying:


  • The Lord Jesus. 
  • The stones and buildings of the Temple.
  • The salutation of the “angel” (“messenger”) to Mary.
  • The “woman” who anointed the Lord (Mary - the sister of Martha -  according to John 11:2 and 12:2).
  • The Father’s love.


Matthew 8:27 recounts: “But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man  [potapos:G4217] is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”


And Mark 13:1 says, “And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner [potapos:G4217] of stones and what [potapos:G4217] buildings [are here]!”


Luke 1:29 reveals: “And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.”


Luke 7:39 acknowledges “Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw [it], he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner [potapos:G4217] of woman [this is] that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”


1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner [potapos:G4217] of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”


The foregoing verses help to highlight the nature of whosoever or whatever is in view. Luke 7:39 is particularly telling, as it expresses the gratitude and love that Mary had for the Lord Jesus - the Word of God - which she visibly demonstrated by her actions (notice that no words came out of her mouth), in spite of the scorn that others leveled against her. In the final analysis, the Lord commended her, which is all that matters, according to 2 Corinthians 10:18,


“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”  


Ought [dei:G1163] Ye [hymas:G5209] To Be [hyparcho:G5225] 


The next phrase that we want to look at in verse 11 is “ought ye to be,” which consists of three Greek words that only surface again together in verse 36 of Acts 19:35-41,


And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, [Ye] men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the [image] which fell down from Jupiter? {36} Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye [hymas:G5209] ought [dei:G1163] to be [hyparcho:G5225] quiet, and to do nothing rashly. {37} For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. {38} Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. {39} But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. {40} For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. {41} And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly. 


In [en:G1722] All Holy [hagios:G40] Conversation [anastrophe:G391] 


“In all holy conversation” is the next phrase we want to examine, and it too is comprised of three words that are only found together again in 1 Peter 1:15, which is a similar declaration:


“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy [hagios:G40] in [en:G1722] all manner of conversation;” [anastrophe:G391] 


And [kai:G2532] Godliness [eusebeia:G2150] 


So we note that the “manner” in which God’s elect are to conduct themselves involves “holy conversation” - which would focus on “things above” or spiritual matters, which would be glorifying to God. We considered this term when were going through 2 Peter 1, however it might be helpful to keep in mind some important admonitions that contain this word, “godliness”: 


1 Timothy 6:3 and 5 warn: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness [eusebeia:G2150]; ... {5} Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness [eusebeia:G2150]: from such withdraw thyself.


Verse 5 of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 also cautions: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. {2} For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, {4} Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; {5} Having a form of godliness [eusebeia:G2150], but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.


There is one additional characteristic that crops up in the first part of verse 12 that pertains to the question, “What manner [of persons] ought ye to be...?” and is linked to both “holy conversation” and “godliness.” It is the noteworthy phrase, “Looking for and hasting…” that we now want to try to understand, by God’s grace; it states:


Verse 12: Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 


Looking For [prosdakao:G4328] And [kai:G2532] Hasting 

[speudo:G4692] 


The two main words, “looking for” along with “hasting”  only appear together in this verse, so we will have to examine them individually:


Looking For [prosdakao:G4328] 


It’s curious that the expression, “looking for” is also found in verses 12, 13, and 14 in the same way that “lyo” (G3089) - “shall melt” or “shall be dissolved” - surfaced in verses 10, 11, and 12. God is certainly placing a great deal of emphasis on these very ominous and significant words. In verse 13 it is translated as “we look for” and in verse 14 as “seeing that ye look for.”  G4328 also appears in the following references in the book of Luke:


Luke 8:40 expresses this as “waiting for”: “And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people [gladly] received him: for they were all waiting for [prosdakao:G4328] him.”


And in Luke 12:46, it appears as “he looketh for”: The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh [prosdakao:G4328]not for [prosdakao:G4328] [him], and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.


And so the question naturally arises, “Where is one to look?” All kinds of people are looking to their churches, seminaries, confessions and creeds, and various teachers or authors - both ancient and modern. But where does God tell the child of God to look?


Acts 17:11 exhorts: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”


So does John 5:39, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”


Hasting [speudo:G4692]  


The word, “hasting” shows up in four other scriptures, and always as some form of this term: 


Luke 2:16 records what the shepherds did: And they came with haste [speudo:G4692], and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.


In Luke 19:5-6 we note the eagerness of Zacchaeus to promptly obey the Lord’s command: And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste [speudo:G4692], and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. {6} And he made haste [speudo:G4692], and came down, and received him joyfully.


In Acts 20:16 we learn:  For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted [speudo:G4692], if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.


Then in Acts 22:18, God informs Paul:  And saw him saying unto me, Make haste [speudo:G4692], and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.


The eagerness to “search the scriptures,” in addition to our lifestyle, in thought, word and deed has always been the hallmark of the child of God, and how much more today, as God reveals more and more truth, as we approach the end. 


Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing.

2 Peter 3 - Part 18

December 22, 2019


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 18, and today’s date is December 22, 2019. I’ll read verses 7-14,


But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. {8} But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. {11} [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, {12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.


In our examination of 2 Peter 3 we have arrived at verse 12, and in our last study we left off at ...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? Actually we have already considered the majority of these words in some of our earlier studies in 2 Peter 3, with the exception of  two of them: “being on fire” and “shall melt” which we now want to address:




Being On Fire [pyroo:G4448] 


“Being on fire” is a Greek verb and appears again in the following five citations, and we will touch upon some of these: 


Ephesians 6:16 speaks about one of the pieces of spiritual armor that God’s saints possess, in which this word is rendered as “fiery”: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery [pyroo:G4448] darts of the wicked.


Revelation 1:15 refers to the Savior’s “feet” which like the word, “hands” denotes “one’s will,” and is translated as “if they burned”: And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned [pyroo:G4448] in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.


Lastly, verse 18 of Revelation 3:14-22  expresses this term as “tried,” which in the historical context relates to God giving the churches and denominations “space to repent” during the 1955 years of the church age, which they did not, and in so doing incurred the wrath of God:  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; {15} I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. {16} So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. {17} Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: {18} I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried [pyroo:G4448] in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. {19} As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. {20} Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. {21} To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. {22} He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


Shall Melt [teko:G5080]


The Greek verb, “shall melt” is a different expression than the one in verse 10 (lyo:G3089), which we have already researched, and is used in the same phrase: “...the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” We wonder why God has chosen to use this different word in verse 12. Furthermore, this word, “teko” in verse 12 is more difficult to ascertain as it is only used here, and apparently has no root word. In cases like this our only option is to turn to the English translation, “shall melt,” and see if that surfaces elsewhere in the Bible, in the hope of discovering a clue to its significance. Indeed, we do find two Hebrew terms that are employed as “shall melt,” in the subsequent passages: 


Verse 7 of Isaiah 13:6-11 utilizes this same word as “shall melt,” in the context of our present day of judgment, as the entire world (apart from God’s elect) is under the fierce wrath of God: “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. {7} Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: [macac:H4549] {8} And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces [shall be as] flames. {9} Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. {10} For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. {11} And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.


Verse 7 of Ezekiel 21:1-7 announces God’s anger against His corporate people who typify the churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God because they did not repent as God had warned them, in which this same word “macac” is employed again: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop [thy word] toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel, {3} And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I [am] against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. {4} Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: {5} That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more. {6} Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of [thy] loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.  {7} And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, [macac:H4549] and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak [as] water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.


Likewise verse 5 of Amos 9:1-5 reiterates this theme of  judgment, although in this case a different Hebrew expression for “shall melt” is used: I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered. {2} Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: {3} And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them: {4} And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. {5} And the Lord GOD of hosts [is] he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, [muwg:H4127] and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as [by] the flood of Egypt. 


This brings us to verse 13, which states:


Verse 13: Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.


We have already investigated all the terms in this citation, except for “new heavens” and a “new earth,” along with the expression, “wherein dwelleth”: 


New [kainos:G2537] Heavens [ouranos:G3772] & A New [kainos:G2537] Earth [ge:G1093]


The only other place in which we find the words, “new” associated with “heavens” and “earth” is in verse 1 of Revelation 21:1-7, which is what the elect long to experience for ever more at the end of this prolonged “day” of judgment:


And I saw a new [kainos:G2537] heaven [ouranos:G3772] and a new [kainos:G2537] earth: [ge:G1093] for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. {2} And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. {3} And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. {4} And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. {5} And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. {6} And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. {7} He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.


Wherein [en:G1722/ hos:G3739] Dwelleth [katoikeo:G2730] [Righteousness]


The phrase, “wherein dwelleth” consists of three Greek words that only crop up again together in six other references, and we will consider a few of these; please bear in mind that the outstanding characteristic of the “New Heavens” and “New Earth” is what? “...wherein dwelleth righteousness.It is “Righteousness,” Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, as we read concerning Melchisedec, Who is the Savior, and is given the dual titles, “King of Salem,” (or “Peace” - He is the “Prince of Peace” - Isaiah 9:6) as well as “King of Righteousness,” as Hebrews 7:2 acknowledges:


“To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;”


James 4:5 translates these words as “that dwelleth in,” speaking about the “natural” (i.e., “unsaved”) man or the “flesh” which is only focused upon sin: Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that [hos:G3739] dwelleth [katoikeo:G2730] in [en:G1722] us lusteth to envy?


Revelation 2:13 is directed toward the church at Pergamos: I know thy works, and where thou dwellest [katoikeo:G2730], [even] where Satan's seat [is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in [en:G1722] those days wherein [en:G1722] [hos:G3739] Antipas [was] my faithful martyr, who [hos:G3739] was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. [katoikeo:G2730]


Revelation 13:8 reveals that all those whose names were not written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” remain under condemnation: “And all that dwell [katoikeo:G2730]  upon the earth shall worship him [Satan - exemplified by the “beast” and “dragon”], whose [hos:G3739] names are not written in [en:G1722] the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”


Let’s proceed on to verse 14, which declares:


Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.


Once again, we have already discussed most of these expressions in our earlier studies, except for “that ye may be found of him,” “without spot,” along with “blameless” which we will now investigate in that order, as these terms relate to salvation which of course ended on May 21, 2011, yet this admonition is similar to the one found in 2 Corinthians 13:5,


Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


That Ye May Be Found [heurisko:G2147] Of Him [autos:G846] [In Peace]


The two words that make up this expression appear together in over 100 passages; the following are a small sampling of how God utilizes these terms:


One of the most compelling verses that includes these two words is Philippians 3:9, “And be found [heurisko:G2147] in him [autos:G846], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”


Verse 13 of Matthew 18:11-14 renders these as, “that he find” and “it” or “that”: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. {12} How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?{13} And if so be that he find [heurisko:G2147] it [autos:G846], verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that [autos:G846]  [sheep], than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. {14} Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.


Luke 12:37 and 43 translates them as, “shall find” and “them” or “his”:  Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find [heurisko:G2147] watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them [autos:G846] to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. [autos:G846] ... {43} Blessed [is] that servant, whom his [autos:G846] lord when he cometh shall find [heurisko:G2147] so doing.


Likewise John 21:6 renders these in the same way:  And he said unto them [autos:G846], Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. [heurisko:G2147] They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it [autos:G846] for the multitude of fishes.


Similarly, Revelation 9:6 underscores that in the day of judgment salvation is no longer possible: And in those days shall men seek death, and shall [heurisko:G2147] not find [heurisko:G2147] it; [autos:G846] and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. [autos:G846]


You might recall that salvation can be typified by the term, “death” or “desire to die” which spiritually signifies “dying in Christ” as one learns from Romans 6:3-5, keeping in mind that “baptism” has to do with “the washing away of one’s sins”:


Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? {4} Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. {5} For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:


Without Spot [aspilos:G784]


The expression, “without spot” or “unspotted” - referring to sin - is found in three other citations:


1 Timothy 6:14 proclaims: That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, [aspilos:G784] unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:


James 1:27 also adds: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted [aspilos:G784] from the world.


And verse 19 of  1 Peter 1:18-23 gloriously declare: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [aspilos:G784] {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. {22} Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: {23} Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 


Blameless [amometos:G298] 


The last term that we want to research today is “blameless” or which is only found one other time in Philippians 2:15, as “without rebuke”: 


That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke [amometos:G298], in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;


With that excellent reminder, I think we’ll bring today’s study to a close. Lord willing, in our next study, we will examine verse 15, the first of the last four remaining verses in this chapter: “And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”


Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing next.

2 Peter 3 - Part 19

January 5, 2020


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 19, and today’s date is January 5, 2019. I’ll read verses 15-18,


And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.


We are down to verse 15, and the last four verses in this chapter that is so significant for us today. Let’s begin by investigating the first word, “that the longsuffering,” since we have already considered the term “account” or “count,” as it was rendered in verse 9. 


That The Longsuffering [makrothymia:G3115]


This expression is used twice as “patience,” and 11 other times as “longsuffering,”  as these next passages reveal:


Romans 2:4 explains that it is God’s “longsuffering” (along with His goodness and forbearance) that is the cause of God granting His elect “repentance,” which is synonymous with salvation: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering [makrothymia:G3115]; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?


God’s “longsuffering” or “patience” is also evident in Romans 9:22, with regard to the non-elect as well: “[What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering [makrothymia:G3115] the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:”


Verse 16 of 1 Timothy 1:11-16 utilizes this word in the case of Paul himself, who under divine inspiration, is a “pattern” or “example” of one that was the unworthy recipient of God’s “longsuffering” (as all God’s saints are): And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; {13} Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief. {14} And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. {15} This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. {16} Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering [makrothymia:G3115], for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.


2 Timothy 4:2 is an admonition to Timothy - Paul’s young protege` - and is certainly applicable to all in ministry whether during the church age or after: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering [makrothymia:G3115] and doctrine.


In Hebrews 6:12 this word is rendered as “patience” in this admonition: “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience [makrothymia:G3115] inherit the promises.”


Likewise James 5:10 translates it as “patience” too: Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. [makrothymia:G3115] 


Lastly, 1 Peter 3:20 acknowledges: “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering [makrothymia:G3115] of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”


Not only do the foregoing citations speak of God’s “longsuffering” in the context of the day of salvation, we also learn from the rest of verse 15 that God’s “longsuffering” is actually identified with salvation, which is G4991, 


Is Salvation [soteria:G4991]


This Greek noun is the feminine form for “Savior,” and is predominantly rendered as “salvation,” as the following references illustrate. Although God has closed the door to salvation these passages are a wonderful reminder to continue to pray for our loved ones and friends who perhaps show no signs of regeneration, yet we know that God did save a “great multitude” prior to May 21, 2011, and there is an element of time involved in dragging that great catch of fish to shore as we read in John 21:4-11, which precedes the “new commission” of “feeding sheep” in verses 15-17 which is the mandate for God’s elect in our current day of judgment:


But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. {5} Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. {6} And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. {7} Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt [his] fisher's coat [unto him], (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. {8} And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. {9} As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. {10} Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. {11} Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.


The subsequent verses contain this term, “soteria” (G4991):


Romans 1:16 testifies: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation [soteria:G4991] to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


2 Corinthians 6:2 likewise proclaims: (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation [soteria:G4991] have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.) [soteria:G4991] 


Ephesians 1:13 adds: In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation [soteria:G4991]: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,


And 2 Thessalonians 2:13 maintains: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation [soteria:G4991] through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:


In 2 Timothy 3:15, Paul under divine inspiration reinforces the truth that “...faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) that his young protege` Timothy experienced in his own life by God’s providence: And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation [soteria:G4991] through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


Hebrews 2:10 emphasizes the role that suffering played in the Savior’s life: For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation [soteria:G4991] perfect through sufferings.


Just as Christ was subjected to suffering during His earthly ministry (not to speak of His death and annihilation “...at the foundation of the world,” God’s elect recognize that as His body we are called to do the same, as Philippians 1:29 enjoins,


For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;


Verse 9 of Hebrews 5:5-10 underscores the “perfection” (or completion) of Christ’s sufferings as the “Author of eternal salvation,” and simultaneously linking that to His high priestly role, “after the order of Melchisedec”: So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. {6} As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. {7} Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; {8} Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;{9}And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation [soteria:G4991] unto all them that obey him; {10} Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.


Hebrews 9:28 similarly reveals: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. [soteria:G4991]


Revelation 19:1 records this magnificent description of our day: And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation [soteria:G4991], and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:


We have already discussed the term “beloved” (agapetos:G27) which appears five times in this chapter, underscoring that this is directed to God’s elect. So, in light of that, let's consider the three terms, “even as our brother” which is referring to the Apostle Paul, and surfaces in three other citations, and we will look at two of them:


Even As [kathos:G2531] Our [hemon:G2257] Brother [alelphos:G80]


1 Thessalonians 4:1 exhorts: Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren [alelphos:G80], and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as [kathos:G2531]  ye have received of us [hemon:G2257] how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more.


And 2 Thessalonians 3:1 declares: Finally, brethren [alelphos:G80], pray for us  [hemon:G2257], that the word of the Lord may have [free] course, and be glorified, even as [kathos:G2531]  [it is] with you:


Wisdom [sophia:G4678] Given [didomi:G1325] Unto Him [autos:G846]


The next three terms also relate to Paul, and specifically “...the wisdom given unto him… .” They are also found together in five other passages:


Mark 6:2 records this concerning the Savior: And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [sophia:G4678]  [is] this which is given [didomi:G1325]  unto him [autos:G846], that even such mighty works are wrought by his [autos:G846] hands?


Acts 7:10 speaks of how God took care of Joseph, who typifies the Lord Jesus spiritually: And delivered him [autos:G846]  out of all his [autos:G846]  afflictions, and gave [didomi:G1325] him [autos:G846]   favour and wisdom [sophia:G4678] in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him [autos:G846]  governor over Egypt and all his [autos:G846]  house.


1 Corinthians 12:8 teaches: For to one is given [didomi:G1325] by the Spirit the word of wisdom [sophia:G4678]; to another the word of knowledge by the same [autos:G846] Spirit;


Ephesians 1:17 offers this prayer: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give [didomi:G1325] unto you the spirit of wisdom [sophia:G4678] and revelation in the knowledge of him: [autos:G846] 


This reminds us of verse 5 of Romans 2:5-8 in which “...the revelation of the righteous judgment of God…” is something God’s saints are learning more and more about: 


But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; {6} Who will render to every man according to his deeds: {7} To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: {8} But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  


Lastly James 1:5 acknowledges the only One to go to for divine wisdom: If any of you lack wisdom [sophia:G4678] let him ask of God, that giveth [didomi:G1325] to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given [didomi:G1325] him. [autos:G846] 

The last two Greek expressions in verse 15 are: “hath written” (grapho:G1125) and “unto you” (hymin:G5213). We ran across these two words in verse 1 of this chapter, but it might be helpful to consider some more examples of these two terms together, as this idea of  “that which is written down” points to the totality of Scripture, by the mouth of God, which He dictated to His servants, as we read, for instance, in the noteworthy account of Jeremiah and Baruch in Jeremiah 36:1-4, 17-18, and 27-32,


And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, [that] this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, {2} Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. {3} It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. {4} Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. ... {17} And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth? {18} Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote [them] with ink in the book. ... {27} Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, {28} Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. {29} And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? {30} Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. {31} And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not. {32} Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words. 


Hath Written [grapho:G1125] Unto You [hymin:G5213]


The following references are some of the citations which contain both of these terms: “grapho” (G1125) and “unto you” (G5213):



Luke 24:44 is an exceptional scripture that speaks of the complete fulfillment of the Word of God, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, even though only the Old Testament is mentioned: And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you [hymin:G5213], while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written [grapho:G1125] in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.


1 John 2 is a chapter that includes the greatest number of these two words in a single chapter in verse 1, 7-8, 12-14, 21, and 26: My little children, these things write I [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213], that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: ... {7} Brethren, I write [grapho:G1125]  no new commandment unto you [hymin:G5213], but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. {8} Again, a new commandment I write [grapho:G1125]  unto you [hymin:G5213], which thing is true in him and in you [hymin:G5213]: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. ... {12} I write [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213], little children, because your sins are forgiven you [hymin:G5213] for his name's sake. {13} I write [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213], fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I write [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213], young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213], little children, because ye have known the Father. {14} I have written [grapho:G1125]  unto you [hymin:G5213], fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written [grapho:G1125]  unto you [hymin:G5213], young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. ... {21} I have [grapho:G1125] not written [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213] because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. ... {26} These [things] have I written [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213] concerning them that seduce you.


I think we’ll stop here. Lord willing, in our next study, we will continue looking at this same theme of the Scriptures being “written down,” as God used the Apostle Paul to pen the majority of the books in the New Testament, under divine inspiration; and in the process of investigating verse 16, we will discuss the intriguing statement “...some things hard to be understood…,” which many in our day are also having great difficulty comprehending, as God continues to disclose more and more truths to His saints today.


Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing next.

2 Peter 3 - Part 20

January 12, 2020


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 20, and today’s date is January 12, 2019. I’ll read verses 15-18,


And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.


Today we want to begin by turning our attention to verse 16, in which Peter, under divine inspiration, continues to reference the epistles which Paul also penned, under divine inspiration. Let’s consider the first two terms, “As” and “also.”

The idea that was expressed in verse 15 is carried over in verse 16 regarding the subject of “longsuffering;” we have learned that God’s “longsuffering” with respect to salvation found its fulfillment during the day of salvation. Peter makes the assertion that Paul as well speaks of God’s “longsuffering” in the epistles which he wrote. In fact, out of the 14 times that “longsuffering” surfaces, at least 10 of them appear in Paul’s epistles. These two terms “as” and “also” in combination present a comparison between the epistles of Paul and those of Peter on this subject of “longsuffering” or “patience” as it is translated as such, a few times. We discover that these words, “as” and “also” crop up in the book of 2 Peter twice in chapter 1, twice in chapter 2, and twice in chapter 3: 


As [hos:G5613] Also [kai:G2532]

2 Peter 1:3 and 19 record: According as [hos:G5613] his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and [kai:G2532]

 godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and [kai:G2532] virtue: ... {19} We have also [kai:G2532] a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as [hos:G5613] unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and [kai:G2532]

 the day star arise in your hearts:


2 Peter 2:1 and 12 maintain: But there were false prophets also [kai:G2532]

 among the people, even [kai:G2532]  as [hos:G5613]  there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even [kai:G2532]  denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. ... {12} But these, as [hos:G5613]  natural brute beasts, made to be taken and [kai:G2532] destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;


Lastly, 2 Peter 3:8 and 10 exhort: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as [hos:G5613]  a thousand years, and [kai:G2532] a thousand years as [hos:G5613]  one day. ... {10} But the day of the Lord will come as [hos:G5613] 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 [kai:G2532] and [kai:G2532] the works that are therein shall be burned up.


In [en:G1722] All [pas:G3956] [His] Epistles [epistole:G1992]


The next three words are only found together in two other citations:


In verse 2 of  2 Corinthians 3:2-3, Paul likens the elect that he is ministering to as a living “epistle”: Ye are our epistle [epistole:G1992] written in [en:G1722]  our hearts, known and read of all [pas:G3956]  men: {3} [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.


Verse 17 of 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18 includes these three terms, and is the benediction that ends the book of 2 Thessalonians: Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord [be] with you all. {17}The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in [en:G1722] every [pas:G3956] epistle [epistole:G1992]: so I write. {18} The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.


Speaking [laleo:G2980]


The next word in verse 16 is “speaking” which we have encountered previously in verse 21 of  2 Peter 1:19-21, which is the only other time this particular word in employed in 2 Peter, 


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: {20} Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. {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.


This passage is one of the most important in all of Scripture, as it lays out two important truths:


  1. First, there is no “private” (i.e., “one’s own”) interpretation of the Word of God. Frequently you hear people say when you discuss a verse or passage, “Oh that’s just your interpretation.”  Either the interpretation is correct, by comparing “spiritual with spiritual,” or it is incorrect, in which case verse 16 of  2 Timothy 3:16-17 comes into play, regarding the necessity for “correction” from the Bible alone:


All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect [“complete”], throughly furnished unto all good works.


  1. Secondly, and equally if not more significant, is the reality that the Bible originated from the will of God - not man- as God “moved” certain men to pen the words He wanted them to write down, as we saw in the example of Jeremiah and Baruch in Jeremiah 36 that was mentioned in last week’s study (2 Peter 3 - Part 19).


Here are some more illustrations of how God uses this term, “speaking”(G2980) with regard to a number of key Bible study principles to keep in mind:


Luke 1:70 is an excellent verse that reiterates the same truth as 2 Peter 1:21, As he spake [laleo:G2980] by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 


Mark 4:33-34 underscores the manner in which God chose to write His blessed Word: And with many such parables spake he [laleo:G2980]

 the word unto them, as they were able to hear [it]. {34} But without a parable spake [laleo:G2980] he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.


Matthew 10:19-20 on the other hand speaks of disclosing certain end-time truths (that were previously sealed up in the Bible) to God’s elect which they would share, according to 1 Peter 3:15, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:


This is Matthew 10:19-20, But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak [laleo:G2980]: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak [laleo:G2980]. {20} For it is not ye that speak [laleo:G2980], but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh [laleo:G2980] in you.


John 16:13 corroborates this as well: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall [laleo:G2980]

 not speak [laleo:G2980] of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak [laleo:G2980]: and he will shew you things to come.


1 Corinthians  2:13 expresses God’s methodology for studying the Bible: Which things also we speak [laleo:G2980], not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


Titus 2:1 and 7-8 But speak [laleo:G2980] thou the things which become sound doctrine:{7} In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, {8} Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.


The phrase, “...speaking in them [referring to Paul’s epistles] of these things” has to do with God’s “longsuffering,” but “these things” can be understood to include all the Word of God, which is why it then goes on to affirm: “...in which are some things hard to be understood...” So let’s first examine this expression, “these things,” and then we’ll consider the term, “...hard to be understood...”


These Things [touton:G5130] 


As we search for how God employs this word, we do find two significant citations that also include this idea of “some things hard to be understood,” emphasizing the fact that unless God opens one’s spiritual eyes and ears, there is no possibility of arriving at Truth:


The first passage is verse 34 of Luke 18:31-34, in which this word is translated as “of these things.” I have quoted this on numerous occasions as it highlights this truth so profoundly, since it includes three different Greek verbs to stress the impossibility of absorbing any truth whatsoever without God’s intervention: Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. {32} For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: {33} And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. {34} And they understood [syniemi:G4920] none of these things [touton:G5130]: and this saying was hid [krupto:G2928] from them, neither knew they [ginosko:G1097] the things which were spoken.


The second reference is in verse 14 Luke 24:13-27 and 44-45, And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongs.{14} And they talked together of all these things which had happened. {15} And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. {16} But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. {17} And he said unto them, What manner of communications [are] these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? {18} And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? {19} And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: {20} And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. {21} But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. {22} Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; {23} And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. {24} And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found [it] even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. {25} Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: {26} Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? {27} And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. ... {44} And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. {45} Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,


Hard To Be Understood [dysnoetos:G1425]


The expression, “hard to be understood” is a compound word and it only surfaces in this verse. It is made up of the negative prefix, “dys” (G1418) and a form of the word, “noeo” (G3563), which is primarily rendered as “understand” or “perceive,” as these next Scriptures reveal:


In Matthew 16:9 and 11 we read: Do ye [noeo:G3563] not yet understand [noeo:G3563], neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? ... {11} How is it that ye do [noeo:G3563]  not understand [noeo:G3563]  that I spake [it] not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?


Mark 7:18 adds: And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye [noeo:G3563]  not perceive [noeo:G3563], that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, [it] cannot defile him;


And John 12:40 is one of about a half dozen New Testament passages that quote Isaiah 6:9-10, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand [noeo:G3563]  with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.


Verse 7 of 1 Timothy 1:5-8 uses this word, “understanding” as well in describing those who claim to be “teachers”: Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned: {6} From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;  {7} Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding [noeo:G3563] neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. {8} But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully; {9} Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, {10} For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; {11} According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.


As a result we find Paul admonishing his young protege` Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-7, in which this term crops us in verse 7: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. {2} And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. {3} Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. {4} No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. {5} And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. {6} The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. {7} Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding [noeo:G3563] in all things.


The rest of verse 16 says: “...which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”  The two words, “unlearned” and “unstable” are only found together in this passage, so we will have to consider them individually:


Unlearned [amathes:G261]


This expression, “unlearned” is only found here, and is another compound word made up of the “alpha” (G1) negative prefix, and the main word, “manthano” (G3129) which is rendered predominantly as “learn,”as these next references indicate:


John 6:45, It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned [manthano:G3129] of the Father, cometh unto me.


Romans 16:17 warns: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned [manthano:G3129] ; and avoid them.


2 Timothy 3:7 records this statement regarding the unsaved: Ever learning [manthano:G3129], and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.


Lastly, Hebrews 5:8 says: Though he were a Son, yet learned he [manthano:G3129] obedience by the things which he suffered;


With that wonderful reminder, let’s stop here, and Lord willing next Sunday we will pick this up. Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing next.

2 Peter 3 - Part 21

January 19, 2020


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 21, and today’s date is January 19, 2020. I’ll read verses 15-18,


And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.


In our examination of 2 Peter 3, we have arrived at the last part of verse 16, and the word, “unstable”: “...and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 


Unstable [asteriktos:G793] 


The term “unstable” is only found again in 2 Peter 2:14 which is focused on false teachers, and those who listen to them:


Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable [asteriktos:G793] souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:


This word is similar to the compound word “unlearned,” as they both contain the negative “alpha” (G1) prefix, along with a main word, which in this case is “sterizo” (G4741), that is primarily translated as “stablish” or “establish.” So putting the two words together we get the idea of “not being established” or “unstable.” The following passages illustrate how God has chosen to use the main word “sterizo” (G4741), or “stablish”:


“Sterizo” [G4741] 


Paul, under divine inspiration closes the book of Romans with this benediction in chapter 16, and verses 25-27, in which this expression surfaces in verse 25:  Now to him that is of power to stablish [sterizo:G4741] you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, {26} But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: {27} To God only wise, [be] glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.


This word is also found in verse 3 of 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3, Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have [free] course, and be glorified, even as [it is] with you: {2} And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all [men] have not faith.{3}But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish [sterizo:G4741]  you, and keep [you] from evil.


Lastly, verse 10 of 1 Peter 5:10-11 contains this term: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish [sterizo:G4741], strengthen, settle [you]. {11] To him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


So we see that these two terms, “unlearned” and “unstable” refer to the unsaved, whether in the congregation or outside of the congregation. They appear to have a “form of godliness”  but they deny “the power thereof,” as highlighted in verse 5 of 2 Timothy 3:1-8,


This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. {2} For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, {4} Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; {5} Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. {6} For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, {7} Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. {8}  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 


This leads right into our next word, “wrest” which is how the “unlearned” and “unstable” treat the Scriptures in general, as verse 16 maintains:  As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.


Wrest [strebloo:G4761] 


This word, “wrest” which denotes a negative nuance, only crops up here in 2 Peter 3:16, so in such circumstances we have no option, but to look at its root or parent word, which is “strepho” (G4762). “Strepho” is predominantly translated as some variation of  the word “turn,” which is used either in a positive or negative manner, as these next references indicate:


“Strepho” [G4762]


In Matthew 18:3, this word is translated positively as, “ye be converted,” speaking of salvation: And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted [strepho:G4762], and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.


However in Acts 7:39-42, it is rendered negatively in verses 39 and 42 as “turned back again” and “turned” respectively: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust [him] from them, and in their hearts turned back again [strepho:G4762]into Egypt, {40} Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for [as for] this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. {41} And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. {42} Then God turned [strepho:G4762], and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices [by the space of] forty years in the wilderness?


Notice that the “wresting” of the Scriptures includes those “hard to be understood” passages as well as the “the other” ones, encompassing the totality of the Scriptures. I’ll read verse 16 again, and notice the end result of such activity: As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction


Can we find other examples of the Scriptures being “twisted” or “perverted” in the Bible, since we have already considered the word, “Scriptures” (graphe:G1124) in some of our earlier studies?


Indeed we can, and a good place to start is in verse 7 of Galatians 1:6-10, in which verse 7 contains a derivative of “strepho” (G4762), which is “meta strepho” (G3344), and is rendered as the verb “pervert,” keeping in mind that the “Gospel” is synonymous with the entire Bible, which is why verse 7 clarifies the fact that there is only one true Gospel. Every other “so-called” gospel is merely a perversion of the genuine article spanning the Old and New Testaments exclusively in their original languages:


I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: {7} Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would  pervert [metastrepho:G3344] the gospel of Christ. {8} But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. {9} As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. {10} For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.


2 Corinthians 2:17 likewise makes this assertion about the “... many, which corrupt the word of God…”: For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.


Verse 2 of 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 similarly adds: Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; {2} But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.


We see this as well in Jeremiah 23:26, and 30-32, How long shall [this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, [they are] prophets of the deceit of their own heart; ... {30} Therefore, behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. {31} Behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. {32} Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.


1Timothy 4:1-3 further reveals: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; {2} Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; {3} Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.


And 2 Timothy 4:3-4 adds: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; {4} And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


When we were discussing 2 Peter 2 we were led to the book of Jude, which likewise speaks of “false teachers” and “false prophets: 


I’ll read from Jude 1:4, 8, 10-13, 15, and 17-18, For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. ... {8} Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. ... {10} But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. {11} Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished [apollymi:G622] in the gainsaying of Core. {12} These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; {13} Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. ... {15} To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. ... {17} But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; {18} How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.


2 Peter 2:1-3 underscores this same truth:  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable [apoleia:G684] heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [apoleia:G684] {2} And many shall follow their pernicious ways [apoleia:G684]; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. {3} And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation [apoleia:G684] slumbereth not.


You might recall from our study in 2 Peter 2 that the above terms rendered as “damnable,” “destruction,” “pernicious ways,” and “damnation”  match the word “destruction” in 2 Peter 3:16 in the phrase,


Unto [autos:G846] Their Own [idios:G2398] Destruction [apoleia:G684]


Let’s move onto verse 17: 


Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.


We have already discussed the expression, “beloved,” and this is the fifth and last time that this word appears in 2 Peter 3, and once again highlighting the “elect” who are the recipients of not only the book of 2 Peter, but of the entire Bible.


The next two words, “ye therefore” are part of this warning in verse 17, in which God through the apostle is reminding the “elect” of what they have been taught not only in 2 Peter 3, but also in 2 Peter 2, and in 2 Peter 1. Why? In order that number one, they not be “...led away with the error of the wicked…” and as a result, number two: “... fall from your own stedfastness.”


Ye [hymeis:G5210] Therefore [oun:G3767]


So let’s consider how God utilizes these two terms, “ye therefore” in the following admonitions: 


Matthew 5:48 teaches: Be ye [hymeis:G5210]  therefore [oun:G3767]

 perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


Likewise Matthew 7:12 instructs: Therefore [oun:G3767]

 all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye [hymeis:G5210] even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.


And Matthew 10:31 reveals: Fear ye not therefore [oun:G3767], ye [hymeis:G5210] are of more value than many sparrows.


John 8:31 commands, Then [oun:G3767] said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye [hymeis:G5210] continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;


John 13:14 records: If I then [oun:G3767], [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye [hymeis:G5210] also ought to wash one another's feet.


1 John 2:24 acknowledges, Let that therefore [oun:G3767] abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye [hymeis:G5210]  have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye [hymeis:G5210]  also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.


Seeing Ye Know [These Things] Before [proginosko:G4267]


The next word that we want to turn our attention to is “seeing ye know before” or “proginosko” as “these things” are in italics; it is an interesting expression that surfaces in four other highly important places:


Acts 26:5 is part of Paul’s testimony to King Agrippa: Which knew [proginosko:G4267] me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.


Verse 29 of Romans 8:28-30 sets forth this magnificent declaration: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.{29} For whom he did foreknow [proginosko:G4267], he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


Verse 2 of Romans 11:1-7 testifies, I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [of] the tribe of Benjamin. {2} God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. [proginosko:G4267] Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, {3} Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. {4} But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to [the image of] Baal. {5} Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. {6} And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. {7} What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.


Verse 20 of 1 Peter 1:18-25 gloriously proclaims: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained [proginosko:G4267] before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. {22} Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: {23} Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. {24} For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: {25} But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.


It looks like we’ve come full circle again to the One,True, Living Gospel, which so many throughout history have tried unsuccessfully to pervert, and sadly end up destroying themselves and others in the process. Lord willing, next Sunday we will continue our investigation of the rest of Chapter 3. Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing next.

2 Peter 3 - Part 22

January 26, 2020


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon our time together... This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 22, and today’s date is January 26, 2020. I’ll read verses 15-18,


And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.


We have arrived at the latter part of verse 17, “... beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”


Let’s begin our examination of this verse by looking at this word, “beware,” which is an urgent warning to not be “...led away with the error of the wicked…” which many have succumbed to as God continues to test those who say they belong to Him.


Beware [phylasso:G5442]


This word is primarily rendered in the majority of references as “keep,” as we shall shortly see. Additionally, there are three other places in which we discover similar kinds of admonitions:


Luke 12:15 cautions against the dangers of “covetousness”: And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware [phylasso:G5442] of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.


In verse 15 of 2 Timothy 4:14-15, we find Paul alerting Timothy to “Alexander the coppersmith,” who like so many throughout history and up to the present day, opposed the Word of God with great vehemence:  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: {15} Of whom be [phylasso:G5442] thou ware [phylasso:G5442]  also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.


In 1 John 5:21, this word is translated as “keep”: Little children, keep [phylasso:G5442] yourselves from idols. Amen.


Someone who reads 1 John 5:21 superficially might get the wrong idea that it’s up to the individual to “keep” oneself from idolatry in this case. Actually from Colossians 3:5 we learn that “covetousness” is defined as “idolatry,” underscoring the importance of Luke 12:15


Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:


But getting back to the false notion of “keeping” oneself from evil, the following passages testify that, on the contrary, God is the One Who alone can perform this task in the life of each child of God, since “keeping” has to do with “observing” or “obeying” God’s Word, according to verse 28 of Luke 11:27-28, 


And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. {28} But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep [phylasso:G5442] it. 


Luke 8:29 highlights the fact the unsaved are spiritually imprisoned by their sin and their spiritual father Satan, as were these two “demoniacs” in this account which is a historical parable regarding salvation, when that was still possible; this term is rendered “he was kept”:  


(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept [phylasso:G5442] bound with chains and fetters; and he break the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)


This is the reason the religious leaders were so incensed at Stephen’s words, under divine inspiration in verse 53 of Acts 7:51-54, as God used him, among other things, to point out their sin in which this word is translated as “have kept”:  


Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye. {52} Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: {53}Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have [phylasso:G5442] not kept [phylasso:G5442] [it]. {54} When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with [their] teeth. 


These next citations further confirm that God is responsible for working in each of His people to “...will and to do of his good pleasure,” according to verse 13 of Philippians 2:12-13, but here again we find a “snare” in verse 12 in the words, “work out,” which read casually seems to imply, “this is something I need to do,”  which gratifies the flesh, since man is always seeking his own righteousness, by being able to point to something he did: “I accepted Jesus”... “I prayed the sinners’ prayer”... “I walked down aisle”... “I joined the church”... “I did this”... “I did that.”  


God opposes this kind of thinking and actions in no uncertain terms in Isaiah 65:1-7,


I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name. {2} I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts; {3} A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; {4} Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable [things is in] their vessels; {5} Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. {6} Behold, [it is] written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, {7} Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.


This is the reason that we find statement like verse 5 of Titus 3:3-7 and many others that are scattered throughout the pages of the Bible:


For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. {4} But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, {5} Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; {6} Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; {7} That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


The following Scriptures illustrate that God does all the work of salvation exclusively,  which began “...at the foundation of the world” and extends all the way to “the resurrection” of the bodies of each of His beloved saints:


In 2 Timothy 1:12 and 14 this word is expressed as “to keep” and “keep” respectively: For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep  [phylasso:G5442] that which I have committed unto him against that day. ... {14} That good thing which was committed unto thee keep [phylasso:G5442] by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.


John 17:12 makes this affirmation:  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept [phylasso:G5442], and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.


2 Thessalonians 3:3 further adds: But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep [phylasso:G5442] [you] from evil.


Verse 24 of Jude 1:24-25 renders this term as “to keep” in this benediction which closes the Book of Jude: Now unto him that is able to keep [phylasso:G5442] you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, {25} To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.


Being Led Away [synapago:G4879]


Well, let’s now consider “being led away” which refers to  “with the error,’’ and “of the wicked,” but we will have to investigate each of these words individually, beginning with “being led away,” which is found in two other places, one of which is verse 13 of Galatians 2:11-13, which is helpful in shedding light on this word, “being led away,” and is rendered “was carried away”: 


But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. {12} For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. {13} And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away [synapago:G4879] with their dissimulation.[i.e., “hypocrisy”]


With The Error [plane:G4106]


We have encountered the expression, “with the error” before in 2 Peter 2:18, where it appears as “error,” 


For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. [plane:G4106]


It also surfaces in the following references, which relate to those who continue to teach doctrinal falsehood, and will not receive proper “correction” from the Bible alone, by the methodology that God has prescribed in His Word, namely “comparing spiritual with spiritual.” This reminds us of the solemn pronouncement in Jeremiah 7:28, But thou shalt say unto them, This [is] a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.


Ephesians 4:14 acknowledges: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive [plane:G4106];


1 Thessalonians 2:3 likewise maintains: For our exhortation [was] not of deceit [plane:G4106], nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:


Jude 1:11 pinpoints three Old Testament characters that could not escape this spiritual trap: Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error [plane:G4106] of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.


Verse 11 of 2 Thessalonians 2:10-17 presents an aspect of God’s character that many do not readily perceive, which is to strongly delude those who are unregenerate, which serves to compound the spiritual blindness which by nature they already possess: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. {11} And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion [plane:G4106], that they should believe a lie: {12} That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. {13} But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: {14} Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. {15} Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. {16} Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given [us] everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, {17} Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.


1 John 4:6 is concisely affirms: We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error [plane:G4106].


A vivid illustration of 1 John 4:6 is found in the account of the man that was born blind, whom Jesus healed by mixing His “spittle” (indeed the “Water of Life”) with dirt to form “clay” which He then placed on the blind man’s eyes and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam (or “Sent”), thereby receiving physical sight, besides the spiritual sight that God had blessed him with. His exchange with the Pharisees in John 9 and especially in verses 27 and 31 is exceptionally noteworthy, as are Jesus’ remarks to the Pharisees with which this chapter ends, as well as the now “unveiled” reference to our present day of judgment in verse 4, in which Christ is no longer working to save, as the Body of Christ has been completed: I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man [i.e.,“Christ”] can work.  


John 9:13-17 and 24-41 reveal: They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. {14} And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. {15} Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. {16} Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. {17} They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. ... {24} Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. {25}  He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner [or no], I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. {26} Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? {27} He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear [it] again? will ye also be his disciples? {28} Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. {29} We know that God spake unto Moses: [as for] this [fellow], we know not from whence he is. {30} The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and [yet] he hath opened mine eyes. {31} Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. {32} Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. {33} If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. {34} They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. {35} Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? {36} He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? {37} And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. {38} And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. {39} And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. {40} And [some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? {41} Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.



Of The Wicked [athesmos:G113]


“Of the wicked” is only used again in 2 Peter 2:7, speaking of Lot: And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: [athesmos:G113]


Ye Also Fall From [ekpipto:G1601]


The next Greek word that we want to turn our attention to in 2 Peter 3:17 is “ye also fall from.” This is a compound word, made up of “ek” (G1537) or “out of” and the main word, “pipto” (G4098), which is primarily translated as some form of  the Greek verb, “fall.” Here are some of the ways that God employs this expression:


In Galatians 5:4 it is translated as “ye are fallen from”: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from [ekpipto:G1601] grace.


And in 1 Peter 1:24 it is rendered as “falleth away”: For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: [ekpipto:G1601]


Revelation 2:5 sets forth God’s warning to the churches and denominations to repent (which they did not, during the 1955 years of the era of the church age), in which this word is expressed as “thou art fallen”: Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen [ekpipto:G1601], and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.


Mark 13:25 is set in the context of our current day of judgment, in which the “stars” (who typify God’s elect) have “fallen,” or cease to shine the light of the Gospel, since salvation has ended, and their new “commission” is to spiritually feed God’s saints with Truth from the Bible:  


And the stars of heaven shall fall [ekpipto:G1601], and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.


The last two words in 2 Peter 3:17 are: “your own” and “stedfstness.”


Your Own [idios:G2398]


We have already run across the term, “your own” a number of times in some of our earlier studies, as these next Scriptures attest, in which this word is translated as either  “private” or a form of “own,” the latter being the most frequently used:


2 Peter 1:20 acknowledges: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [idios:G2398] interpretation.


2 Peter 2:16 and 22 reveal: But was rebuked for his [idios:G2398]

 iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. ... {22} But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own [idios:G2398] vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.


And 2 Peter 3:3 explains: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own  [idios:G2398] lusts,


Stedfastness [sterigmos:G4740]


The last word in verse 17 is “stedfastness,’’ which is only found in this verse, but is derived from its root or parent word,which is “sterizo” (G4741); it is predominantly rendered as “stablish” or “establish,” highlighting the reality that to be truly established “in the faith” requires the intervention of God during the day of salvation as these citations illustrate:


Stablish [sterizo:G4741] 


Earlier in today’s study as we were discussing the word, “delusion” or “error,” I quoted 2 Thessalonians 2:10-17, and in verse 17 this word is translated as “stablish”: 


Comfort your hearts, and stablish [sterizo:G4741] you in every good word and work.


Here are a few more examples of this word:


Romans 16:25 declares: Now to him that is of power to stablish [sterizo:G4741] you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,


1 Thessalonians 3:13 likewise affirms: To the end he may stablish [sterizo:G4741] your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.


1 Peter 5:10 adds: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish [sterizo:G4741], strengthen, settle [you].


Lastly, 2 Peter 1:12 records: Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established [sterizo:G4741] in the present truth.


I think we’ll stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will address verse 18. Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing next.

2 Peter 3 - Part 23

February 2, 2020


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask for God’s blessing upon our time together... This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 23, and today’s date is February 2, 2020. I’ll read verses 15-18,


And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.


We have arrived at verse 18 - the closing verse of the book of 2 Peter and chapter 3 in particular - which is very pertinent to those of us living on the earth during this “time and season” known as the day of judgment. 


But [de:G1161]


This verse begins with the conjunction, “but” which serves to connect as well as contrast the warning found in verse 17, with the exhortation in verse 18. I’ll read them again:  


Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.




So let’s begin with the two words, “grow” and “grace” which  only surface again together in connection with the Lord Jesus, as we read in Luke 2:40, 


And the child grew [auxano:G837], and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace [charis:G5485] of God was upon him. 


This verse appears after the Lord Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day, followed by a period of 33 days for Mary’s “purification” according to Luke 2:21-24 and  Leviticus 12:1-4 respectively:  


And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. {22} And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord; {23} (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) {24} And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.


And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {2} Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. {3} And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. {4} And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.


We then read about what took place in Luke 2:25-40, when Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem with the Lord Jesus after the 41 days: 


And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name [was] Simeon; and the same man [was] just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. {26} And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. {27} And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, {28} Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, {29} Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: {30} For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, {31} Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; {32} A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. {33} And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. {34} And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; {35} (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. {36} And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; {37} And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day. {38} And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. {39} And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 


And then we read again in verse 40:


And the child grew [auxano:G837], and waxed strong [krataioo:G2901] in spirit [pneuma:G4151], filled with wisdom [sophia:G4678]: and the grace [charis:G5485] of God was upon him.


Then there is a noticeable period of silence until the Lord reaches the age of 12, in which we learn the following in Luke 2:41-42,


Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. {42} And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.


After this event there is another period of silence until 29 AD, when Christ was baptized by John the Baptist who was uniquely qualified to anoint him (since both John the Baptist’s parents were from the priestly line of Levi) for His High Priestly ministry, in spite of the fact that Christ hailed from the tribe of Judah, which would under normal circumstances have disqualified Him from being anointed. 


Grow [auxano:G837] In [en:G1722] Grace [charis:G5485]


Let’s take a closer look at these two terms, “grow” and “grace.” I’ll start with “grace” first, which was discussed at length in 2 Peter 1:1-4, as it is expressed in verse 2, but certainly bears repeating: 


Grace [charis:G5485]


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 Saviour Jesus Christ: {2} Grace [charis:G5485] and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, {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: {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.


 We have seen how the word, “grow” applied to the Savior in Luke 2:40, as He “grew” physically of course, but even more significantly, He “waxed strong in spirit.” We are also aware that Christ did not possess the Spirit, “by measure,” but rather possessed the “fullness of the Spirit,” as John 4:34 and Colossians 1:19 and 2:9 stipulate:


John 4:34 announces: For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him].


Likewise, Colossians 1:19 adds, For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;


Similarly, Colossians 2:9 acknowledges:  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.


Moreover, in Luke 2:40 we understand that Christ was also “filled with wisdom,” as He is indeed, “the wisdom of God,” as 1 Corinthians 1:24 declares:


But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom [sophia:G4678] of God. [theos:G2316]


And last, but certainly not least, we glean from Luke 2:40 that “...the grace [charis:G5485] of God was upon him.” 


The two Greek words that make up this phrase, “waxed strong in spirit” in Luke 2:40  are also linked to John the Baptist in Luke 1:80, and additionally are the inheritance of all of God’s elect, according to verse 16 of  Ephesians 3:16-19 respectively:


Luke 1:80 reveals this about John the Baptist, who was born about 6 months prior to the Lord Jesus, if my memory serves me right:  And the child grew, and waxed strong [krataioo:G2901] in spirit [pneuma:G4151], and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.


Ephesians 3:16-19 reveals: That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened  [krataioo:G2901] with might by his Spirit [pneuma:G4151] in the inner man; {17} That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, {18} May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; {19} And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.


Grow [auxano:G837]


This is the first time that the term, “grow” crops up in 2 Peter, so I would like to spend some extra time examining this word, which is found 21 other times, and predominantly as either “grow” or “increase.” Incidentally, we discover this principle in the Old Testament as well with regards to the Messiah in the first instance, and secondly with respect to each of His beloved saints who comprise the Bride of Christ. It is a fact that  “growth” or “maturity” is an integral aspect of anything that is alive, stemming from the fact that all life by definition must come from the Creator of Life, Who is the very essence of Eternal Life, according to the following Scriptures:


Isaiah 11:1 maintains: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:


Similarly, Isaiah 53:2 acknowledges: For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.


Hosea 14:5 and 7 emphasize this as well: I will be as the dew [This is the same word that is equated to “doctrine” in Deuteronomy 32:2] unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily [Christ is the “Lily of the valley”], and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. ... {7] They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive [as] the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof [shall be] as the wine of Lebanon.


Zechariah 6:12 further adds: And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name [is] The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:


Psalm 92:12 states: The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.


Ecclesiastes 11:5 singles out just one of the many mysteries regarding God’s creative genius: As thou knowest not what [is] the way of the spirit, [nor] how the bones [do grow] in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.


For example, the division of cells that takes place at conception and for the next 6 weeks occurs so rapidly that if it were to continue at that rate the baby would weigh 1.5 tons at birth, according to Alexander Tsiaras, an Associate Professor of Medicine, and Chief of Scientific Visualization at Yale University, which he mentioned in a Ted Talk back in 2012. Today scientists are at work attempting to  map out 100 or so billion neurons in the human brain, and the thousand of connections that take place within them simultaneously. When asked to explain what he and his team had learned so far, he responded, “Can you understand New York City,” implying can you comprehend everything that takes place there all at once? Obviously not, and once again the child of God marvels with amazement of what God is able to create and maintain perfectly in complete harmony along with everything else He has created according to His inscrutable wisdom and divine power. 


Psalm 104:14 declares: He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

Reminding one of Psalm 1:3 as well as Revelation 22:2,  Ezekiel 47:12 affirms: And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.


Mark 4:26-28 likewise asserts: And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;{27}And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. {28} For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.


Luke 12:27 presents this description of God’s elect: Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.


Keep in mind that the admonition in verse 18 is to “grow” or “increase” in “grace,” which is God’s unmerited favor.


So how does one “grow in grace” practically speaking? 


First and foremost, “grace” is not an abstract idea, but rather the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Word of God, as these next citations underscore, in which the same term for “grace” or  “charis” (G5485) is employed:


John 1:14 and 16-17 testify: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace [charis:G5485] and truth. … {16} And of his fulness have all we received, and grace [G5485] for grace. [charis:G5485] {17} For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace [charis:G5485] and truth came by Jesus Christ.


2 Timothy 1:9 traces the election of God’s people before the world began, and then at the foundation of the world, Christ was sacrificed for His eternal church, thereby securing their everlasting salvation: Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, [charis:G5485] which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,


Romans 11:5-6 highlights the reality that God’s salvation program was predicated exclusively on God’s grace, and the “work” of Christ, by repeating the term “grace” 5 times (as the number “5” can represent “salvation” or “judgment”): Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. [charis:G5485] {6} And if by grace, [charis:G5485] then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace [charis:G5485] is no more grace. [charis:G5485] But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace:[charis:G5485] otherwise work is no more work.


Acts 20:32 corroborates this truth as well: And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, [charis:G5485] which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.


Acts 13:43 is an interesting passage in which Paul and Barnabas, under divine inspiration exhorted those in the synagogue (as well as those in the city) of Antioch , to “continue in the grace of God”: Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue [epimeno:G1961] in the grace [charis:G5485] of God. (By the way, you might recall that it was in Antioch, in which the name “Christian” (i.e., belonging to the family of Christ) was first introduced, as Acts 11:26 indicates, And when he [Barnabas] had found him [Saul or Paul], he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.)


 The notion of “continuing” in the grace of God as stated in Acts 13:43 cannot be emphasized enough, and is very fitting for our current day of judgment, in which all who claim to belong to the “family of Christ” are being put to the test, to see if they are indeed, “...gold, silver, precious stones…” or merely “...wood, hay, and stubble.”  The expression, “to continue” (epimeno:G1961) in Acts 13:43 is also found in the following references:


Colossians 1:23 offers this admonition: If ye continue [epimeno:G1961] in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;


And 1 Timothy 4:16 similarly reveals:  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue [epimeno:G1961] in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.  


The word, “to continue” (epimeno:G1961) is a derivative of its root or parent word, “meno” (G3306), which occurs in John 8:30-31, which is an exceedingly important warning:


As he spake these words, many believed on him. {31} Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [meno:G3306] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;


Notice the context: “...many believed on him...those Jews which believed on him…” The Lord Jesus is making the point that mere “belief” is not salvation. The key is to “continue in the Word,” or we could say, “grow in grace,” because as I mentioned earlier, “Grace” is a “Person” - the Lord Jesus Christ - Who is The Word Of God. This is how one “grows in grace.” Furthermore, this is confirmed by other citations such as…


2 Timothy 3:14 which concludes: But continue [meno:G3306] thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];


In the same manner, 1 John 2:19 and 24 also teach the same; in fact this term is found three times in verse 24, attesting to its seriousness: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued [meno:G3306] with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. ... {24} Let [meno:G3306] that therefore abide [meno:G3306] in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain  [meno:G3306] in you, ye also shall continue [meno:G3306] in the Son, and in the Father.


1 John 2:19 highlights the bottom line with respect to “growing in grace” or “continuing in the Word”: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued [meno:G3306] with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.


Scripture is sadly replete with the names of those who did not “grow in grace,” or who did not “continue in the Word,”: Cain, Balaam, Korah, Esau, Judas, Demas, Lot’s wife, etc. etc. Thankfully, we recognize that without a shadow of a doubt, only the Triune God can keep His own as Jude 1:24-25 so clearly insists:


Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, {25} To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. 


Lord willing, in our next study, we will finish up the rest of verse 18. Please stay tuned for our Hymn Sing.