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 - Part 1

November 4, 2015


This is lesson # 1, and the first in a series on the book of 2 Peter. Let’s begin by looking at a brief overview of some of the truths that God through Peter reveals in chapter one, as he neared the time of his death. As we examine this book, I will also endeavor to highlight some of the principles relating to how to study the Bible (in bold). 


In this first chapter, God makes reference to statements such as: “like precious faith;” “life and godliness;” “exceeding great and precious promises;” “partakers of the divine nature;” “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity;” “making your calling and election sure;” spiritual “fruitfulness” versus being spiritually “barren;” to be “reminded” of these truths pertaining to the Kingdom of God;” “not following cunningly devised fables regarding the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;” “eyewitnesses of His majesty;”  the importance of heeding the “voice” of God; “a more sure word of prophecy;” “no prophecy of the Scripture is of private interpretation;” “prophecy came not in old time by the will of man;” and lastly,  “holy men of God spake, moved by the Holy Ghost.”


2 Peter 1:1-2 begins with an introduction and greeting: “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 and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,”


Simon Peter, A Servant And An Apostle Of Jesus Christ


Peter, under divine inspiration, gives us his name “Simon” (simon:G4613), which  is derived from the Hebrew “Simeon” (Shim`own:H8095). Peter (petros:G4074), on the other hand, is always translated “Peter,” except in the 4th Gospel (Lazarus) 1:42, when Andrew brought Peter to the Master, and Jesus gave him the name of “Cephas”: 


“And he [Andrew, Peter’s brother] brought him [Peter] to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon [simon:G4613] the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas [kephas:G2786], which is by interpretation, A stone.” [petros:G4074]


The Importance Of “Word Studies” Or “Phrases”


We then learn that Peter is both a “servant” (doulos:G1401) as well as an “apostle” (apostolos:G652) of Jesus Christ. Notice the arrangement of the word order...He could have put “apostle” first, but instead, “servant” is first. This comports with what we know about the Lord Jesus Himself, as described in  Philippians 2:5-9, in which the word “of a servant” is employed in verse 7, and underscores what the believer’s role should be in this “...present evil world…” that the true child of God has been delivered out of:


“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: {7} But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant [doulos:G1401], and was made in the likeness of men: {8} And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. {9} Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”


Without digressing too far, I would like to mention the importance of “word studies” for a moment,  With the aid of a “tool” like the Englishman’s Greek Concordance (which I will leave on the table over there for you to look at, in case you are not familiar with it) -  you could do a word study to learn more about each of these two words, for instance : “servant” (rendered also as“bond,” and “bondman”) is found 127 times; the term “apostle” (translated as “messenger” and “he that is sent”) appears 81 times. Along with Jay P. Green’s Interlinear Bible, these are very useful (and inexpensive), Bible study aids.  


Why are word studies beneficial? For example, consider the word “servant.”  We know that  each child of God, is a “servant” - even as His Master. By studying this term more closely we will begin to understand, among other things, what the role of a servant entails, what the characteristics of a servant are, and what responsibilities a servant has been given. However, we must always keep in mind that the Bible has three levels of meaning: historical, moral, and most importantly, spiritual; this last aspect is also the most difficult to apprehend.


The subsequent verses help us get a little better idea of what God intends by this one, “God-breathed” word:


The Role Of  A Servant


Matthew 8:9 shows  how each genuine Christian is under the authority of Christ:  “For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this [man], Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, [doulos:G1401] Do this, and he doeth [it].”


John 15:15 offers further instruction, “Henceforth I call you not servants;[doulos:G1401] for the servant [doulos:G1401] knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”


1 Corinthians 7:22-23 maintains, “For he that is called in the Lord, [being] a servant, [doulos:G1401] is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, [being] free, is Christ's servant. [doulos:G1401] {23} Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants [doulos:G1401] of men.”


Revelation 22:6 also affirms,  “And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants [doulos:G1401] the things which must shortly be done.”


The Characteristics Of A Servant


2 Timothy 2:24 reveals, “And the servant[G1401] of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,


The Responsibilities Of A Servant


Luke 12:38, 43, 45-47 attest, “And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find [them] so, blessed are those servants. [doulos:G1401] ... {43} Blessed [is] that servant, [doulos:G1401] whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. ... {45} But and if that servant [doulos:G1401] say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; {46} The lord of that servant [doulos:G1401] will come in a day when he looketh not for [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. {47} And that servant, [doulos:G1401] which knew his lord's will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes].”


During the day of salvation, God’s elect were mandated to send forth the Gospel, as we read in Luke 14:23, “And the lord said unto the servant, [doulos:G1401] Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel [them] to come in, that my house may be filled.”


Speaking of our present day of Judgment, in which we are to feed sheep Luke 17:7-10 declares, “But which of you, having a servant [doulos:G1401] plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? {8} And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? {9} Doth he thank that servant [doulos:G1401] because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. {10} So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: [doulos:G1401] we have done that which was our duty to do.”


Luke 19:13, and 17: “And he called his ten servants, [doulos:G1401] and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. ... {17} And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: [doulos:G1401] because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”


Acts 4:29 further teaches,  “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, [doulos:G1401] that with all boldness they may speak thy word,”


Likewise, Romans 6:17 acknowledges,  “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants [doulos:G1401] of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”


To Them That Have Obtained Like Precious Faith With Us


Well, back to 2 Peter 1:1, and the phrase, “...to them that have obtained [lagchano:G2975] like precious [isotimos:G2472 - only used here -  (from isos:G2470 and time:G5092)]  faith [pistis:G4102] with us [hemin:G2254]…” We have correctly understood that the “faith” that believers have obtained is the faith (the personal possession) of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the study of the “Faith of Christ”  shows. [Available on our website as transcripts - www.bmius.org - or we can email or mail them to you.]


Besides, 2 Peter 1:1, lagchano:G2975 is only used in the following three citations - either as “his lot/cast lots” or “had obtained”: 


Luke 1:9, “According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot [lagchano:G2975] was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.” [Luke 1:5 “...of the course of Abia (Abijah H29 - “Jehovah is my father”)...” - see 1 Chronicles 24:10 - for the 24 divisions of the priests that were instituted by David; Abijah was the 8th]


John 19:24“They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots [lagchano:G2975] for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.”


Acts 1:17“For he was numbered with us, and had obtained [lagchano:G2975] part of this ministry.”


It’s significant that lagchano:G2975 is used in connection with “casting lots,” and since 2 Peter 1:1 is speaking of faith (i.e., the faith of Christ) - which has to do with salvation, in which some are chosen, and others are not -  we are reminded of what God declares in Romans 9:11-13,


“(For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) {12}  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. {13} As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”


Discovering A “Bridge” Between The New And Old Testaments


One helpful aspect of Bible study is to discover a so called “bridge” between Greek and Hebrew words; for example when an Old Testament verse is quoted in the New Testament. We have a good example of this is in our study today. 


Let’s go back to John 19:23-24 for a moment, which records “the casting of lots” for Jesus “vesture” or “coat”: 


Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also [his] coat [chiton:G5509]: now the coat [chiton:G5509] was without seam, woven from the top throughout. {24} They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots [lagchano:G2975]  for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, 


They parted [diamerizo:G1266] my [mou:G3450] raiment [himation:G2440] among them, [G1438] and [G2532] for [G1909] my [mou:G3450] vesture [himatismos:G2441] they did cast [ballo:G906] lots. [kleros:G2819] These things[G5023][G3303] therefore[G3767] the soldiers[G4757] did.[G4160]


The latter part of John 19:24 is a quotation taken from Psalm 22:18 below:  


They part [chalaq:H2505] my garments [beged:H899] among them, and cast [naphal:H5307] lots [gowral:H1486] upon my vesture. [lebuwsh:H3830]


At this point, one could do a further analysis of each of these “matching” Hebrew and Greek words found in these two passages. 


Like Precious Faith


The adjective, “like precious” (isotimos:G2472)  as I noted earlier is only found in this verse, and it is a compound Greek word, made up of  (isos:G2470) and (time:G5092). “Isos” is translated as “equal,” “agree together,” “as much,” and “like” here in 2 Peter 1:1. It is found in verse 17 of Acts 11:16-17, where it is rendered as “the like,” referring to the gift of salvation - with regard to the Gentiles - that God had opened Peter’s spiritual eyes to:


“Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. {17} Forasmuch then as God gave them the like [isos:G2470] gift [salvation] as [he did] unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?”


Time:G5092 on the other hand, is translated as “honor,” “price,” “sum,” and “precious” referring to the priceless value of God’s faith - His salvation - which He bestowed upon all the elect who were named in the Lamb’s book of life, from the foundation of the world, which is when Christ atoned for the sins of His elect. Here are some of the ways that God uses this word:


1 Timothy 6:16, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour [time:G5092] and power everlasting. Amen.”


Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour;[time:G5092] that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”


1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious [timios:G5093] than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour[time:G5092] and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”


1 Peter 2:7, “Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious:[time:G5092] but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,”


Revelation 5:12-13, “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, [time:G5092] and glory, and blessing. {13} And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, [time:G5092] and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”


2 Peter - Part 2

December 20, 2015



In our previous study we began looking at verse 1 of 2 Peter 1, which states: “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us ” We noted that Peter is both a servant and an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is addressing this epistle to those who like himself “...have obtained like precious faith…” - i.e., the priceless faith of the Lord Jesus Christ - His very possession - which He bestowed upon the unworthy recipients of His mercy, as “...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” according to Revelation 13:8, and other references as well. And you will recall that we discussed this verb, “obtained” (lagchano:G2975), since it is translated as “obtained” or “(cast) lot(s),” reminding us that salvation is determined exclusively by the will of God, apart from any human intervention whatsoever. [By the way, last time I forgot to bring some copies of “The Faith Of Christ” - a series of 13 verses that contain the equivalent of our English possessive in 11 Greek passages, and 2 Hebrew verses. They are available today on the table of materials. For those of you who are watching online you may email me at g.vonharringa@bmius.org  or call 1-800-498-8505 to order this 3-part study on the “Faith Of Christ.” If you want the 2 Peter study transcripts, please email me as well.  Also, all the 2 Peter audio and video studies are also available on our website (www.bmius.org), as well as the Judges study series, and STS Devotionals. 


Through The Righteousness of God 


Let’s begin by examining  the last phrase in verse one- “...through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” before moving on to verse two. Incidentally, the preposition “through” (en:G1722) is a small, but very important word, as it ties together the two phrases, “...to them that have obtained like precious faith with us…” (i.e., all the elect) with  “...through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” It is really defining how the elect obtained this precious (or “priceless”) faith. This serves to underscore the Biblical principle that each and every word in the Bible “...[is] given by inspiration of God…” or “God-breathed,” (theopneustos:G2315); thus it contains the full authority and  power of Almighty God. This compound term is only used in verse 16 of 2 Timothy 3:14-17,


“But continue [meno:G3306 - same word as in Lazarus 8:31 - “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;”] thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; {15} And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, [theopneustos:G2315] and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343]: {17} That the man of God may be perfect [“complete”], throughly furnished unto all good works.” 


Is it any wonder why God states in Deuteronomy 8:3, 


“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every [word] that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”


A Word About Root Words


Dikaiosyne (G1343) is found 92 times in the New Testament, and in each case is rendered as “righteousness.” It stems from a root word (dikaios:G1342), which in turn stems from another word, (dike:G1349).


 I mention this because sometimes a word is only used once (as we just saw in the case of “[is] given by inspiration of God” in 2 Timothy 3:16, and thus one is required to investigate the root word, or in this case, the root words. 


Let’s take this word “righteousness” (dikaiosyne:G1343) here in 2 Peter 1:1. The root word is dikaios (G1342), and it is translated as: “righteous,” “just,” “right,” and “meet.” An excellent verse to consider is 1 John 1:9, where we find the statement, “...Jesus Christ, the righteous…” in which dikaios (G1342) is rendered by the title, “the righteous” - which is actually one of the Savior’s many names:


“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” [dikaios:G1342]


Dikaios (G1342), in turn, is derived from another root word, which is dike (G1349), but surprisingly this term is not what one might expect. It appears in only four citations, as is translated as: “judgment,” “vengeance,” and “punished.” In 2 Thessalonians 1:9 it appears as “shall be punished”:


“Who shall be punished [dike:G1349] with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”


What is in view here is the fact that the word, “righteousness” has a positive as well as a negative meaning (as many words in the Bible do). 


This is also the case with the following two citations, which contain the word, 


Revelation 19:11 maintains, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] he doth judge and make war.” 


Likewise, Acts 17:31 presents this negative connotation too: “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.”


Now, apparently, dike (G1349) also has a root word, but I could not substantiate this, as the blueletterbible.org refers to this derivation as “probable;” nonetheless I will mention it anyway, so you can at least see how words in the Bible can have parent, grandparent, and even great-grandparent root words. In any case, if this is true, it would be interesting indeed, as the parent word of dike (G1349) is deiknyo: (G1166), and it is employed some 31 times, and always as a derivative of  “show” or “shew.” For instance, in Revelation 22:6, it is translated as “to shew”:


“And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew [dike:G1166] unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.”


Righteousness (dikaiosyne:G1343) 


With that in mind, let’s go back to our word, “righteousness” (dikaiosyne:G1343), and some of the other passages that contain this term: 


Romans 10:3-5 declare, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, [dikaiosyne:G1343] and going about to establish their own righteousness, [dikaiosyne:G1343] have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] of God. {4} For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] to every one that believeth. {5} For Moses describeth the righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.”


2 Corinthians 5:21 affirms what took place prior to Creation: “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] of God in him.”


Titus 3:5 stipulates the essence of salvation - during “the day of salvation”: “Not by works of righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”


And 2 Timothy 4:8 asserts: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, [dikaiosyne:G1343] which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”


Galatians 5:5 presents true hope: “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness [dikaiosyne:G1343] by faith.”


2 Peter 3:13 reveals what believers have always longed for: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” [dikaiosyne:G1343]


And Our Saviour Jesus Christ


The statement in 2 Peter 1:1, “...through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” is also a powerful testimony to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as He is both God and Savior. The word, “Saviour” (soter:G4990) occurs 24 times in the New Testament, and is always rendered as “Saviour.” It’s root word is sozo (G4982) and it is found 110 times, and predominantly as “save,” “heal,” and “make/be whole.” One notable example of sozo (G4982) as we celebrate the Saviour’s birth is in Matthew 1:21, where it is translated, “shall save”:


“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save [sozo:G4982] his people from their sins.”


The following passages are some examples of the 24 times that “Saviour”  (soter:G4990 - where the word “soteriology” is derived from - the study of the doctrine of salvation) surfaces in the New Testament, and they also underscore His deity as well:


Luke 2:11 reveals: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, [soter:G4990] which is Christ the Lord.”


Acts 5:31 acknowledges, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, [soter:G4990] for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”


Titus 2:13 adds, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour [soter:G4990] Jesus Christ;”


1 John 4:14 also maintains, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour [soter:G4990] of the world.”


Lastly, Jude 1:25 extols: “To the only wise God our Saviour, [soter:G4990] [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”


2 Peter 1:2


We read in 2 Peter 1:2, Grace [charis:G5485] and peace [eirene:G1515] be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” Even as verse one was addressed to the elect, Peter, one of the elect, - and a “servant” and an “apostle” - greets in his fellow believers with these words in verse 2.


Grace And Peace Be Multiplied Unto You


The salutation of “grace and peace” is found 12 times in the New Testament; in four other references it is also accompanied by the inclusion of the word, “mercy” (eleos:G1656) such as in 2 John 1:3


Grace [charis:G5485] be with you, mercy [eleos:G1656], [and] peace [eirene:G1515], from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” 


Grace [charis:G5485] 


Charis (G5485) shows up 156 times in the New Testament, and most of the time it is rendered as “grace;” sometimes, it is translated as “favor,” “thanks,” and “pleasure;” in a few places it is also rendered as” “thankworthy,” “gift,” and “liberality.” It conveys the richness and generosity of God in bequeathing such a priceless gift (during the day of salvation) upon sinners who do not deserve anything from God because of our sin. The following citations reveal the wonder of such an incomprehensible present:


2 Timothy 1:9 affirms that the work of salvation has everything to do with God’s purpose and will: “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,”


Titus 3:7 reveals that it is by grace that one is made an heir of eternal life: “That being justified by his grace, [charis:G5485] we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”


And Hebrews 4:16 encourages the child of God to always pray:  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, [charis:G5485] that we may obtain mercy, and find grace [charis:G5485] to help in time of need.”


It looks like we will have to stop here. Lord willing, we will continue our investigation of 2 Peter at our next fellowship meeting which will be on January 3rd from 1:00 - 4:00 PM. 






2 Peter - Part 3

January 3, 2016


We are continuing our study in the Book of 2 Peter, and today’s lesson will be 2 Peter - Part 3. We are on verse 2 of 2 Peter 1, which states,


“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,”


Toward the end of our last lesson we began by looking at the first word in this greeting, “grace” (charis:G5485), that is directed to all the elect; we also noted that grace is an undeserved gift from God that was bestowed upon all of God’s elect before the world began, according to many passages such  as 2 Timothy 1:9,


“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,”


Peace


Today we will continue our examination of the rest of this salutation, beginning with the term, “peace” (eirene:G1515). As I mentioned in our previous study, God utilizes this same greeting 12 times in the New Testament, and in 4 other passages He includes the third virtue of “mercy.” The Greek word “peace” is found 92 times in the New Testament as such, with the following three exceptions, which all appear in the Book of Acts:


In Acts 7:26, Stephen is recounting the incident (Exodus 2:13-14) in which Moses attempted to mediate a quarrel between two Israelites: “And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove [machomai:G3164], and would have set them at one again,[eirene:G1515] saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?:


We learn about this incident in Exodus 2:13-14: “And when he [Moses] went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove [natsah:H5327] together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? {14} And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.”


Keep in mind as you study the Bible certain seemingly mundane details have spiritual significance - such as the “next” or “second day” in Acts 7:26 and Exodus 2:13 - In Exodus 2:11-12 we also learn that Moses (and we know that he was 40 years old at this time) killed an Egyptian on the day before (which would be the “first day”). Is this important? Is God trying to teach us something deeper? I don’t have the answer, but this is an example of the kind of questions we need to formulate, as God is always hiding spiritual gems for His people to discover.


It’s significant what God has  this one Israelite say to Moses - “... Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?” in light of the commission that God would give Moses 40 years later.  Incidentally these two passages afford us another example of a “word bridge” between the Old and New Testaments with respect to the term, “strove,” in both Acts 7:26 as well as in Exodus 2:13, and you will see how this helps to amplify our understanding of “peace” in 2 Peter 1:2, as Moses attempts to establish a reconciliation between the two men. The former word machomai (G3164) shows up in 3 other passages in the New Testament besides Acts 7:26, as “strove,” “strive,” and “fight,” accordingly:


Misunderstanding that Christ was speaking parabolically, John 6:52 reveals the Jews’ cynical attitude:  “The Jews therefore strove [machomai:G3164] among themselves, saying, How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?”


2 Timothy 2:24 lays down an important principle for every child of God, and especially those in a teaching capacity or for pastors and elders during the church era: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; [machomai:G3164] but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach [didaktikos:G1312], patient,” [This term, “apt to teach” is only found one other time in reference to a “bishop” (or “overseer”) in 1 Timothy 3:2, “A bishop [episcopos:G1985] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” (didaktikos:G1312)]


James 4:1-2 explores the origin of “fightings” (mache:G3163) - found in verse 1, which is a derivative of its parent word “fight” in verse 2: “From whence [come] wars and fightings [mache:G3163] among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight [machomai:G3164] and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”


Acts 9:31, on the other hand depicts the state of affairs in the New Testament churches, after they became convinced that Paul the Apostle (formerly Saul of Tarsus) was actually one of God’s elect, and no longer a threat to their safety and well-being, where “peace” is rendered “rest”:  “Then had the churches rest [eirene:G1515] throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” [plethyno:G4129 - same as in 2 Peter 1:2 - “be mutiplied”]


Lastly, Acts 24:2 records the introduction of the speech that Tertullus (in company with the high priest Ananias and other elders) presented to Felix the governor, in which he falsely accused Paul; the word “peace,” here is translated “quietness”: “And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse [him], saying, Seeing that by thee [Felix] we enjoy great quietness, [eirene:G1515] and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,”


The Way of Peace


One English phrase that is helpful to look at with regard to “peace” is “the way of peace,” which is comprised of two Greek words: “the way” (hodos:G3598) and “of peace” (eirene:G1515). It is found it two New Testament passages - Luke 1:79 and Romans 3:17,


Luke 1:79 is part of Zacharias’(John the Baptist’s father) prophecy: “To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way [hodos:G3598] of peace. [eirene:G1515]”


The identical phrase appears in verse 17 of Romans 3:10-18 


“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: {11} There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. {12} They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. {13} Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips: {14} Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness: {15} Their feet [are] swift to shed blood: {16} Destruction and misery [are] in their ways: {17} And the way [hodos:G3598] of peace [eirene:G1515] have they not known: {18} There is no fear of God before their eyes.”


Romans 3:10-18 is a series of quotations taken from the Old Testament - Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 5:9, Proverbs 1:16, Isaiah 59:7-8, and Psalm 36:1. All of these verses, in turn, can also be searched out for “word bridges” as well. Let’s consider verses 7-8 of  Isaiah 59:2-8.


“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear. {3} For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. {4} None calleth for justice, nor [any] pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. {5} They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. {6} Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works [are] works of iniquity, and the act of violence [is] in their hands. {7} Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts [are] thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction [are] in their paths. {8} The way [derek:H1870] of peace [shalowm:H7965] they know not; and [there is] no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”


Although we won’t do this right now, nonetheless, we would be in a position to compare these two sets of words in order to broaden our understanding of each of them. From the New Testament -  the way [hodos:G3598] of peace [eirene:G1515] - and from the Old Testament - the way [derek:H1870] of peace [shalowm:H7965]


What Peace Is In View?


Back to our verse in 2 Peter 1:2, where we need to to try to answer the question, how does God define the “peace” that He has in mind? 


When we go to a passage like Hebrews 7:1-2,which is speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ as He appeared to Abraham as this priest Melchisedec. It’s noteworthy that God interprets His Name, as being “King of Righteousness,” as well as “King of Peace” - which is the same word for “peace” (eirene:G1515) that we have been investigating; by doing so, God is giving us additional information. 


This highlights another important principle of Bible study - namely that the Bible is its own “interpreter” and “dictionary,” and “grammar book.”

 

“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; {2} 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 [eirene:G1515];”


This also comports with what we know from Isaiah 9:6, where Christ is referred to as the “Prince of Peace,” among His many glorious titles, including the “Everlasting Father”:


“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [shalowm:H7965]

 

The word, “peace” also appears in verses 14-15, and 17 of Ephesians 2:11-22, which is another reminder of the Atonement that took place prior to Creation - of which the Cross in 33 AD was a magnificent demonstration: 


“Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles [i.e., “the nations”] in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands [i.e., national Israel]; {12} That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: {13} But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. {14} For he is our peace [eirene:G1515], who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; {15} Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace [eirene:G1515]; {16} And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {17} And came and preached peace [eirene:G1515] to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. {18} For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. {19} Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; {20} And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; {21} In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: {22} In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”


This is one of the reasons we read in 1 Corinthians 12:13-14,


“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. {14}  For the body is not one member, but many.


And speaking of baptism - or the washing away of one’s sins -  there is only one baptism, as we read in Ephesians 4:4-5


“[There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; {5} One Lord, one faith, one baptism,


If there is only one baptism, it stands to reason that it has to be spiritual in nature, because that one has true spiritual substance - water baptism is merely symbolical and thus has no spiritual substance attached to it. In the same way when we refer to Atonement - it had to have taken place “...from the foundation of the world,” because that is when (and where) the actual payment for each of the sins of the elect sin took place, as 1 Peter 1:2-3 acknowledges,


“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace [charis:G5485] unto you, and peace, [eirene:G1515] be multiplied. {3} Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,


Lord willing, we will continue our study in 2 Peter at our next Fellowship, which will be on February 14, 1:00 - 4:00 PM.



2 Peter - Part 4

February 14, 2016


We are continuing our examination of the book of 2 Peter, and we are on chapter 1, verse 2, which states: 


“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,”


In our last lesson, we left off at the word “be multiplied” (plethyno:G4129) in this salutation -  which is really intended for every child of God - and not merely for the recipients of this letter in the historical context. And what is being multiplied are these wonderful characteristics that are the both the means as well as the results of salvation - namely “grace” (charis:G5485) - or God’s unmerited favor -  and “peace” (eirene:G1515) - the status which the true believer enjoys since God has ended the spiritual warfare that existed between Him and each of His beloved elect through the atonement “...from the foundation of the world.”


Be Multiplied


The term, “multiplied” is translated 12 times as “multiply” and once as “abound.” It is a word that conveys the rich, overflowing  “abundance” of all that God is, and all that He does with exquisite perfection. We see this magnificent truth in operation all throughout the Bible, beginning in Genesis 1:22 with both fish and fowl alike and also in verse 28 with regard to mankind - both of which point ultimately to the blessing of spiritual procreation, during the 13,023 years of the “day of salvation”: 


“And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply [rabah:H7245], and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. ... {28} And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply [rabah:H7245], and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”


For just a moment, let’s consider this multiplication on a biological level within our human bodies, which God has sublimely created. In 2010, Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief of Scientific Visualization at Yale University Alexander Tsiaras, stated that “...after 4 weeks from conception 1 million cells per second multiply within the tiny baby; if this rate were to continue throughout the entire 9 months, the baby would weigh 1.5 tons at birth” ! Professor Tsiaras is also a mathematician who writes code and algorithms and at the time was working on a project for Nasa and made the point that the information that allows all of this to take place with flawless accuracy within the human body is so complex that mathematicians are at a complete loss to express them in mathematical formulas. No wonder God states in Psalm 139:14, 


“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well.”


Let’s consider how God employs this word “be multiplied” (plethyno:G4129) in a few places in the New Testament, where it is used, among other things, with regard to the elect, national Israel, the churches and denominations, disciples in the early church, the Word of God itself, and even as sin:


1 Peter 1:2 is a parallel passage to 2 Peter 1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” [plethyno:G4129]


Likewise, Jude 1:2 similarly declares: “Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.” [plethyno:G4129]


Matthew 24:12 speaks of the period of  Great Tribulation (1988 - 2011) up through our present “day of judgment”:  “And because iniquity shall abound, [plethyno:G4129] the love of many shall wax cold.”


Acts 6:7 underscores the effects of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the day of Pentecost, and the results of the Word of God, since “...faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” as Romans 10:17 insists: “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied [plethyno:G4129] in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”


In Acts 7:17 we find the record of the exponential growth of the children of Israel in Egypt during the 430 years they were there : “But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied [plethyno:G4129] in Egypt,”


Acts 9:31 reveals the increase of God’s divine organism in those early days:  “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” [plethyno:G4129]


Hebrews 6:14 restates God’s promise to the patriarchs, where this term is doubled:  “Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying [G4129] I will multiply [G4129] thee.”


Through The Knowledge Of God


1 Peter 2:1 maintains that grace and peace are multiplied in two ways -first, “...through the knowledge of God...” and secondly, “...[through the knowledge] of Jesus our Lord”: 


“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of God [theos:G2316], and of Jesus our Lord,”


Let’s examine the former one first. These two expressions, “the knowledge” and “of God”  appear together in 9 verses, and we will consider 4 of them which are most relevant to our discussion, along with their respective contexts; the reason I want to spend a little extra time on this is because the same word “knowledge” also appears in our next verse - 2 Peter 1:3,


“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”


The first of these four passage which contains these two words is verse 17 of Ephesians 1:15-20: “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, {16} Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; {17} That the God [theos:G2316] of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of him: {18} The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know [eido:G1492] what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, {19} And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, {20} Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],”


Paul, under divine inspiration beseeches God to give His saints “...the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him…” We also understand that Christ is the “Wisdom of God,” according to 1 Corinthians 1:24


“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.


The believer is also indwelt by the Holy Spirit - “the Spirit of Truth” - as Lazarus 14:6-7 reveals:


“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; {17} [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”


Of course, the Lord Jesus was full” of the Spirit of God, as we read in Lazarus 3:34,


“ For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him].”


This is also verified in the Old Testament in the following citations:


Isaiah 11:2 gloriously proclaims, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”


And in Deuteronomy 34:9, we learn of Joshua - who typifies the Lord Jesus: “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.”


Furthermore, we acknowledge God’s prerogative to open the understanding of  His people to the Scriptures, in His own timing, and according to His good pleasure, as Luke 24:45 maintains:


“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”


Thus the Holy Spirit gives “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” - as Ephesians 1:17 states -  by means of comparing “spiritual with spiritual,” as 1 Corinthians 2:11-13 beautifully affirms by this exceedingly significant Biblical principle which is really the key to unlocking the spiritual treasures hidden in God’s Word; notice the repetition of the word, “knoweth” or “know,” (eido:G1492) which is the identical term used in Ephesians 1:18, in which we find the phrase, “ ...The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that ye may know[eido:G1492]...” 


“For what man knoweth [eido:G1492] the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth [eido:G1492] no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know [eido:G1492] the things that are freely given to us of God. {13} Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


And what were the true believers to know? Ephesians 1:18-20 answers that question:


1. “the hope of his calling [klesis:G2821]” (2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Peter 1:10)

2. “the riches of the glory of his inheritance [kleronomia:G2817] in the saints” (Hebrews 9:15)

3. “the exceeding greatness of his power [dynamis:G1411] to us-ward who believe” (2 Peter 1:3)


All of the above are being fulfilled, as we read in verses 19-20, “...according to the working of his mighty power, {20} Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],” - which occurred prior to Creation, of which the Cross in 33 AD was a magnificent tableau. 


The second passage we want to consider which contains the two words in 2 Peter 1:2, “the knowledge” and “of God” appears in verse 13 of Ephesians 4:11-16, 


“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: {14} 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; {15} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 


In this passage we discover 5 “offices” spanning both the Old and New Testaments:  “apostles,” “prophets,” “evangelists,” “pastors,” and “teachers.” (Some of these are also listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28) These “offices” were designed to promote and enhance 14 characteristics related to the Body of Christ, namely:


1.  “perfecting [katartismos:G2677; from katartizo:G2675] of the saints [hagios:G40]”

2. “the work [ergon:G2041] of the ministry [diakonia:G1248]”

3. “the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of the body [soma:G4983] of Christ [Christos:G5547] ”

4. “the unity [henotes:G1775] of the faith [pistis:G4102]”

5. “of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son [huios:G5207] of God [theos:G2316]

6. “unto [eis:G1519] a perfect [teleios:G5046] man [aner:G435]

7. “unto [eis:G1519] the measure [metron:G3358] of the stature [helikia:G2244] of the fulness [pleroma:G4138] of Christ [Christos:G5547]”

8. “be [0:G5600] no more [meketi:G3371] children [nepeios:G3516]... carried about with [periphero:G4064] every [pas:G3956] wind [anemos:G417] of doctrine [didaskalia:G1319] ”

9. “speaking the truth [aletheuo:G226] in [en:G1722] love [agape:G26]”

10. “may grow up [auxano:G837] into [eis:G1519] him [autos:G846] in all things [pas:G3956]”

11. “from [ek:G1537] whom [hos:G3739] the whole [pas:G3956] body [soma:G4983]   fitly joined together [synarmologeo:G4883]”

12. “compacted [symbibazo:G4822] by [dia:G1223] that which every [pas:G3956]  joint [haphe:G860] supplieth [epichoregia:G2024]”

13. “according [kata:G2596] to the effectual working [energeia:G1753] in [en:G1722]   the measure [metron:G3358] of every [hekastos:G1538] part [heisG1520/meros:G3313]”

14. “maketh [poieo:G4160] increase [auxesisG838] of the body [soma:G4983] unto [eis:G1519] the edifying [oikodome:G3619]  of itself [heautou:G1438]in [en:G1722]   love [agape:G26]”


We won’t have time to develop these properly today, but we will do so in our next lesson on March 6, 1:00 - 4:00 PM, Lord willing. In the meantime, your homework is to take a look at some of these Greek words (you will notice that some of  our English words, like “periphery” or “energy” are derived from them; also take note of those which are repeated in these 14 phrases) in your Strong’s Concordance or Englishman’s Concordance, to see the ways in which God uses them.





2 Peter - Part 5

March 6, 2016



Summary of Biblical Principles Thus Far


One of the things I have been attempting to do in this study of 2 Peter is to familiarize you with some of the principles that God gives with respect to His methodology for studying the Bible. It might be a good idea to review what we have learned thus far - even for those who are quite familiar with these rules for Bible study that God has laid down:


1.  The importance of “word studies” and comparing “...spiritual with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:11-13); let me quickly add, that sometimes one cannot “see the forest from the trees,” which is why you want to familiarize yourself with the entire Bible at the same time:


2. “Word bridges” are useful in amplifying our knowledge of a particular word or subject, by enabling the student to identify the exact Greek or Hebrew word and its corresponding word in both the Old and New Testaments; this is usually the case when an Old Testament verse is quoted in the New Testament.


3. All Scripture is “God-breathed” (theopneustos:G2315) according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17,


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God [theopneustos:G2315], and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


4. Examining “root,” “parent,” “grandparent,” or even great-grandparent words is especially helpful when a word is only used in one verse - like “God-breathed,” which is comprised of two words: “theos” (G2316) - from which we derive our English word for theology; and “pneustos” - from “pneo” (G4154), translated as “blow” or “wind,” as we read in Lazarus 3:8, a beautiful verse that highlights God’s wonderful salvation during the “day of salvation” and emphasizes the importance of “hearing” (akouo:G191) - a term that can signify both physical as well as spiritual hearing:


“The wind bloweth [pneo:G4154] where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” [pneuma:G4151] 


Incidentally, the word for “the Spirit” (pneuma:G4151) in Lazarus 3:8 - referring to God the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity) - is actually a derivative of “pneo” (G4154); this is also true of the word for “wind”  (pneuma:G4151) - a representation of the Spirit Himself.


5. Words in the Bible very often have both positive and negative connotations - even as Hebrews 4:12 describes the Word of God as a “twoedged” Sword - possessing the power to either save an individual’s soul or to condemn it:


“For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”


6. Seemingly mundane details are not to be overlooked or dismissed, as they contain much spiritual truth - nothing is incidental or accidental - every detail is relevant, because it is Truth.


7. Always ask questions - why did God choose this particular word or why does He give this bit of additional information that might appear trivial to us? Keep in mind Proverbs 25:2,


“[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing [dabar:H3056 - translated very often as “word”]: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.”[dabar:H3056 - translated very often as “word”]:


8. The Bible is its own “interpreter,”  “dictionary,” and “grammar book.” We read in 2 Peter 1:20 (and I know I’m getting ahead of myself in this chapter but this is profitable for all of us, in laying a proper foundation for truth; if our foundation is shaky, as Mr. Camping would say from time to time, the building will have major structural problems - and this is infinitely more serious, since what we consider to be “the truth”  has a tremendous bearing on our spiritual well being):


“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [idios:G2398 - “one’s own”] interpretation.”[epilysis:G1955 - only used in this verse - it’s root word - (epilyo:G1956) is only used twice in the subsequent passages]:


Mark 4:34 maintains, “But without a parable spake he [Christ] not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded [epilyo:G1956] all things [can refer to the entire Bible in certain contexts] to his disciples.”


Acts 19:39 reveals, “But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined [epilyo:G1956] in a lawful assembly.” 


9. Be careful...the Bible is a “minefield” - for instance take the words we just read “a lawful” (ennomos:G1772) “assembly” (ekklesia:G1577). The word, “assembly” is almost always translated as “church,” in fact 115 times (since it is a compound Greek word, signifying “ek” (G1537) or “out” and “kaleo” (G2564), or “called.” In other words, those who are the “called out” ones; or to say it another way - “called out” of this world - and by the same token, “called into” the Kingdom of God. Only two other times (besides Acts 19:39)  is it rendered as “assembly,” and these are only found in Acts 19, in verses 32 and 41:


“Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly [ekklesia:G1577] was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. ... {41} And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.” [ekklesia:G1577]


Since God uses the word “ekklesia” or  “church” so frequently in the Bible, one can readily see where the leaders of churches and denominations assume that they have been granted “authority” from God to determine what is truth according to their elders or councils - and very conveniently bypass the clear teaching of Mark 4:34. When they couple Acts 19:39 with a citation like 1 Timothy 3:15, for example, one can see where they set themselves up to be the “final interpreter” of truth, instead of letting the Bible speak authoritatively and conclusively.  As a further snare, the phrase, “the pillar and ground of truth” can legitimately modify either “the living God” or “the church;” this naturally serves to strengthen the basis for their position, instead of realizing that it is a “trap”:


“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church [ekklesia:G1577] of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”  


10. Both in Mark 4:34 and Acts 19:39, the root word for  “epilyo” (G1956), in turn, is a compound Greek term meaning “un” (epi:G1909) - “loose” (lyo:G3089). The word “loose” shows up in an exceedingly relevant passage for our day especially - in verse 2 and 5 of Revelation 5:1-5,


“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. {2} And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? {3} And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. {4} And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. {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 the seven seals thereof.”


Well, Lord willing, we will continue examining the 14 characteristics in Ephesians 4:11-16 in our next study on April 3, from 1:00 - 4:00 PM. For a homework assignment, feel free to look up some or all of these Greek words in this passage:


1.  “perfecting [katartismos:G2677; from katartizo:G2675] of the saints [hagios:G40]”

2. “the work [ergon:G2041] of the ministry [diakonia:G1248]”

3. “the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of the body [soma:G4983] of Christ [Christos:G5547] ”

4. “the unity [henotes:G1775] of the faith [pistis:G4102]”

5. “of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son [huios:G5207] of God [theos:G2316]

6. “unto [eis:G1519] a perfect [teleios:G5046] man [aner:G435]

7. “unto [eis:G1519] the measure [metron:G3358] of the stature [helikia:G2244] of the fulness [pleroma:G4138] of Christ [Christos:G5547]”

8. “be [0:G5600] no more [meketi:G3371] children [nepeios:G3516]... carried about with [periphero:G4064] every [pas:G3956] wind [anemos:G417] of doctrine [didaskalia:G1319] ”

9. “speaking the truth [aletheuo:G226] in [en:G1722] love [agape:G26]”

10. “may grow up [auxano:G837] into [eis:G1519] him [autos:G846] in all things [pas:G3956]”

11. “from [ek:G1537] whom [hos:G3739] the whole [pas:G3956] body [soma:G4983]   fitly joined together [synarmologeo:G4883]”

12. “compacted [symbibazo:G4822] by [dia:G1223] that which every [pas:G3956]  joint [haphe:G860] supplieth [epichoregia:G2024]”

13. “according [kata:G2596] to the effectual working [energeia:G1753] in [en:G1722]   the measure [metron:G3358] of every [hekastos:G1538] part [heisG1520/meros:G3313]”

14. “maketh [poieo:G4160] increase [auxesisG838] of the body [soma:G4983] unto [eis:G1519] the edifying [oikodome:G3619]  of itself [heautou:G1438]in [en:G1722]   love [agape:G26]”

2 Peter - Part 6

April 3, 2016



We are examining  verses 1-2 of 2 Peter 1, and this is Part 6, and we have been discussing how God uses two terms in verse 2, “the knowledge” and “of God” in our last few studies. I’ll read 2 Pet 1:1-2, 


2 Peter 1:1-2


“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 and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of God [theos:G2316], and of Jesus our Lord,”


I want to mention one thing before we get started regarding one’s understanding of the Scriptures. We have to keep in mind that if  spiritual understanding could be derived from an intimate and extensive knowledge of the Bible’s original languages, every Hebrew or Greek speaker would possess incredible spiritual insight, but we know this is not the case at all. No doubt there are benefits in knowing these languages, but not when it comes to spiritual comprehension, as we read in Lazarus 5:39 and Luke 24:44-45,


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


Luke 24:44-45 also adds, “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,”


There are 8 other  passages (besides 2 Peter 1:2) in which God employs these two Greek words translated as -  “the knowledge” and “of God” - together. You might be wondering, “which passages should I study when I’m doing a word study?” The answer is: it depends on your focus. Obviously, to study the two terms, “the knowledge of God,” we would need to look at all the verses both in the New as well as the Old Testament. However for our purposes -  since we are looking at the elect who are in view in 2 Peter 1:2 - we want to concentrate on passages that include “the elect.” To illustrate what I mean, I have listed the other 8 citations in order for you to get a better understanding of why specific verses are chosen over  others, when one is considering which passages to concentrate on when studying a particular topic: 


The first one is Romans 1:28, which says: “And even as they did not like to retain God [theos:G2316] in [their] knowledge [epignosis:G1922], God [theos:G2316] gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”


This is referring to the non-elect, and because 2 Peter 1:2 concerns the elect, this particular verse does  not apply directly to our narrow focus.


Romans 10:2 states, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God [theos:G2316], but not according to knowledge.” [epignosis:G1922] 


Here we note that national Israel is in view, which again, is outside of our limited parameters.


Ephesians 1:17, “That the God [theos:G2316] of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge [epignosis:G1922]  of him:”


This verse directly relates to the elect.


Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”


Likewise, this verse directly relates to the elect.


Colossians 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of God [theos:G2316];”


This verse, again, directly relates to the elect.


Colossians 2:2, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement [epignosis:G1922] of the mystery of God [theos:G2316], and of the Father, and of Christ;”


This verse, too, directly relates to the elect.


2 Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God [theos:G2316] peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging [epignosis:G1922] of the truth;”


This verse concerns the instruction of those who oppose the truth (during the day of salvation) with the hope that God might grant them “repentance” - which is synonymous with salvation; as such it is outside of the scope of our study. Nonetheless, this touches on another important principle: let’s say you are concerned with one particular topic as we are doing now - and all of a sudden in your research, something “pops up” which is completely unrelated to what you are studying, but is very relevant because it reveals more verses - providing further validation - in support of a doctrine you had correctly understood... 


Case In Point:


I was looking at 2 Timothy 2:25, and I was curious about the term “those that oppose themselves” (antidiatethemi:G475) for no particular reason.  I learned that it is a compound Greek word, which is only used in this one verse, so I began looking to see if it had a root word, which it did (diatithemi:G1303), which is utilized in 6 verses, where it is rendered as “making a covenant” or Gospel; the covenant (or “Gospel”) God “made” with Abraham and the patriarchs, and “appointing a kingdom.” In two of the verses the context includes the period of the “latter rain.” It is also translated as “testator” twice, which is highly significant, as it explains the timing of when the Atonement took place in actuality, and really ties together the entire scope of God’s salvation plan from beginning to end. Its derivative, “those that oppose themselves” (antidiatethemi:G475), as we find in 2 Timothy 2:25 pinpoints those who are “against” or in opposition to such teachings, which is why, in the historical context, Paul encourages his protege Timothy (during the day of salvation) to “instruct them in meekness,” with the hope that God might save some of them. This is yet another example of how often this doctrine surfaces in the Bible...and we will find it again in our study today!


That brings us to the last verse we want to consider, which is Titus 1:1, “Paul, a servant of God [theos:G2316], and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's [theos:G2316] elect, and the acknowledging [epignosis:G1922] of the truth which is after godliness;”


Previously I did not include this verse, yet it does deal directly with the the elect as well.


Thus, 6 citations (including 2 Peter 1:2) deal with the elect: Ephesians 1:17, 4:17, Colossians 1:10, and 2:2, and Titus 1:1.  In Part 4 of this series we looked at Ephesians 1:17, so today we want to consider verse 13 of Ephesians 4:11-16, which contains these two words found in 2 Peter 1:2, “the knowledge” and “of God”:


“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: {14} 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; {15} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 


In this passage we discover 5 “offices” spanning both the Old and New Testaments:  “apostles,” “prophets,” “evangelists,” “pastors,” and “teachers.” These “offices” were designed to promote 14 characteristics related to the Body of Christ, which I just read. Let’s begin by looking at the first one  more closely to see what God might teach us:


1.  “Perfecting [katartismos:G2677; from katartizo:G2675] Of The Saints [hagios:G40]


What could God intend by this first attribute? These two terms, “perfecting”  and “of the saints” do not appear together in any other New Testament citations, so we will have to consider them individually. The word rendered “saints” (hagios:G40) is predominantly translated as “holy” and “saints” and can refer to the Body of Christ, as we see here in Ephesians 4:12, but also in other places in Scripture as: God, His Word, His Name, angels (or “messengers”), the churches and denominations, His “calling,” the conversation (or “lifestyle”) of believers, etc.


The Greek noun “perfecting” (katartismos:G2677) is only used here in Ephesians 4:12, but its root or “parent” word is the Greek verb katartizo (G2675), and is found 13 times, and appears in the following ways: “perfect,” “ make perfect,” “mend,”  “be perfect,” “fit,”  “frame,”  “prepare,” “restore,” and  “perfectly joined together.”


The subsequent passages reveal the various ways that God uses this Greek word - much like the individual segments of a tangerine or orange make up the whole: 


  • In Mark 1:19 this word is rendered, “mending”: “And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the [son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending [katartizo:G2675] their nets.”


  • Luke 6:40, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect [katartizo:G2675] shall be as his master.”


  • Matthew 21:16 (God is directing us back into the Old Testament in yet another “word bridge” quoting Psalm 8:2)  “And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected [katartizo:G2675] praise ?” [ainos:G136 - only other reference is is Luke 18:43, “And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw [it], gave praise [ainos:G136] unto God.”]


  • Psalm 8:2, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained [yacad:H3245] strength [`oz:H5797]because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.”


The term “hast thou ordained” appears 42 times, and ¾ of the time as: “foundation,” “lay,” and “founded.” Most notably, it is found in Isaiah 28:16, which helps to define what practically all of these verses are pointing to (remember that we always want to try to find a definition verse, if God supplies one):


  • Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay [yacad:H3245] in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure [yacad:H3245] foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”


  • Notice also in Ezra 3:10-12 where this word is utilized repeatedly in the context of praise and joy (which ties back into Mat 21:16), and keep in mind Who the “Temple” is [Christ - “...destroy this Temple... in three days I will raise it up…” (Lazarus 2:19)]: “And when the builders laid the foundation [yacad:H3245] of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. {11} And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because [he is] good, for his mercy [endureth] for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation [yacad:H3245] of the house of the LORD was laid. [yacad:H3245] {12} But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, [who were] ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation [yacad:H3245] of this house was laid [yacad:H3245] before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:”


  • Concerning the non-elect, Romans 9:22 poses this question, in which this word is translated “fitted”: “[What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted [katartizo:G2675] to destruction:”


  • In 1 Corinthians 1:10 it appears as “ perfectly joined together”: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together [katartizo:G2675] in the same mind and in the same judgment.”


  • In 2 Corinthians 13:11 we find it as “be perfect”:  “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, [katartizo:G2675] be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”


  • Galatians 6:1 translates it as “restore”: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore [katartizo:G2675] such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”


  • And 1 Thessalonians 3:10 renders it as “might perfect”: “Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect [katartizo:G2675] that which is lacking in your faith?”


  • And in Hebrews 10:5, it is “hast thou prepared”: “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body [soma:G4983] hast thou prepared [katartizo:G2675] me:”


  • Hebrews 10:5 is a quotation from Psalm 40:6, although God modifies the wording (as He does from time to time) for His own purposes as we note in this “word bridge”: “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears [`ozen:H241] hast thou opened [karah:H3738]: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.” 


  • Hebrews 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed [katartizo:G2675] by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”


  • Hebrews 13:21 translates it as “make perfect”: “Make [katartizo:G2675] you perfect [katartizo:G2675] in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.


  • Lastly, 1 Peter 5:10 exhorts, “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[G2675] you perfect, [katartizo:G2675] stablish, strengthen, settle [you].”


As you can see there are both positive as well as negative connotations here:


                          Positive:                                                         Negative:



“Every one that is perfect shall be as his master”


“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise”


“Speak the same thing”

“Mending” - implies something broken

“No divisions among you”

“Fitted to destruction”

“Perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”

“Overtaken in a fault”

“Be perfect”

“Lest thou also be tempted”

“Be of good comfort”

“That which is lacking in your faith”

“Be of one mind”

“After that ye have suffered awhile”

“Live in peace”


“In the spirit of meekness”


“A body hast thou prepared me”


“Mine ears hast thou opened”


“Through faith we understand…”


“Make you perfect”


“In every good work to do his will”


“Working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight”


“Stablish [you]”


“Strengthen [you]”


“Settle [you]”



Remaining Characteristics In Ephesians 4:11-17


2. “the work [ergon:G2041] of the ministry [diakonia:G1248]”

3. “the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of the body [soma:G4983] of Christ [Christos:G5547] ”

4. “the unity [henotes:G1775] of the faith [pistis:G4102]”

5. “of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son [huios:G5207] of God [theos:G2316]

6. “unto [eis:G1519] a perfect [teleios:G5046] man [aner:G435]

7. “unto [eis:G1519] the measure [metron:G3358] of the stature [helikia:G2244] of the fulness [pleroma:G4138] of Christ [Christos:G5547]”

8. “be [0:G5600] no more [meketi:G3371] children [nepeios:G3516]... carried about with [periphero:G4064] every [pas:G3956] wind [anemos:G417] of doctrine [didaskalia:G1319] ”

9. “speaking the truth [aletheuo:G226] in [en:G1722] love [agape:G26]”

10. “may grow up [auxano:G837] into [eis:G1519] him [autos:G846] in all things [pas:G3956]”

11. “from [ek:G1537] whom [hos:G3739] the whole [pas:G3956] body [soma:G4983]   fitly joined together [synarmologeo:G4883]”

12. “compacted [symbibazo:G4822] by [dia:G1223] that which every [pas:G3956]  joint [haphe:G860] supplieth [epichoregia:G2024]”

13. “according [kata:G2596] to the effectual working [energeia:G1753] in [en:G1722]   the measure [metron:G3358] of every [hekastos:G1538] part [heisG1520/meros:G3313]”

14. “maketh [poieo:G4160] increase [auxesisG838] of the body [soma:G4983] unto [eis:G1519] the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of itself [heautou:G1438]in [en:G1722]   love [agape:G26]”


2 Peter - Part 7

May 1, 2016



We are examining  verses 1-2 of 2 Peter 1, and this is Part 7, and we have been discussing how God uses two terms in verse 2, “the knowledge” and “of God” in our last few studies. I’ll read 2 Pet 1:1-2, 


2 Peter 1:1-2


“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 and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of God [theos:G2316], and of Jesus our Lord,”


We have stopped a bit at Eph 4:11-16, since it is one of six citations (including 2 Pet 1:2) that deal with the elect, and which contain the two Greek words, “the knowledge” and “of God,” that we find in 2 Pet 1:2,


“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: {14} 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; {15} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 


In this passage we discover 5 “offices” spanning both the Old and New Testaments:  “apostles,” “prophets,” “evangelists,” “pastors,” and “teachers.” These “offices” were designed to promote 14 characteristics related to the Body of Christ, which I just read. 


1.  “Perfecting [katartismos:G2677; from katartizo:G2675] Of The Saints [hagios:G40]


In our last study we looked at the first characteristic - “the perfecting of the saints.” The Greek noun “perfecting” (katartismos:G2677) is only used here in Eph 4:12, but its root or “parent” word is the Greek verb katartizo (G2675), and is found 13 times, and appears in the following ways: “perfect,” “ make perfect,” “mend,”  “be perfect,” “fit,”  “frame,”  “prepare,” “restore,” and  “perfectly joined together.” As we considered the immediate context in each of these 13 passages, we noted 6 negative aspects pertaining to “perfecting,” and 19 positive attributes regarding this ongoing process of “perfecting” within the individual believers who make up the Body of Christ (as well as the Body in its entirety) keeping in mind that this operation is directed by God Himself. For example, let’s take the training and sanctification of one of the members of the Bride - Moses - which God divinely arranged for his servant, as He does with each of the members, and let’s not forget the admonition in 1 Cor 12: 18, 20-22, and 25-26, in which we see another illustration of God’s creative perfection and wisdom: 


“ But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. ... {20} But now [are they] many members, yet but one body. {21} And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. {22} Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:...{25} That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another. {26} And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”


God knew that He had to put Moses (and every believer for that matter) through a “refining” process - “a trial of faith” - if you will, in order to prepare him for the great task, for which he had appointed him for, as the leader of the people of God in the wilderness for 40 years. Let’s not forget that the preparation process in Moses’ case was 40 years - equal to the years of the task itself! Prior to that, God orchestrated his miraculous rescue (as a baby) and the ensuing first 40 years of his life to learn what Acts 7:22 reveals: 


“And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty [dynatos:G1415] in words [logos:G3056] and in deeds.” [ergon:G2041 - same word as in #2 below]


The same terms - “...mighty in deed and word...” are applied to the Savior in Luke 24:19, as Moses is also a great “type” or representation of the Lord Jesus Christ: “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty [G1415] in deed and word before God and all the people:”


1 Cor 1:26-31 reveals the “common denominator” of those whom God has elected to salvation: “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, [dynatos:G1415] not many noble, [are called]: {27} But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; {28} And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: {29} That no flesh should glory in his presence. {30} But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: {31} That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.


However, notice the contrast, after Moses’ “preparation” in the wilderness of tending sheep,and God’s response, according to Exo 4:10-12, 


“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I [am] not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I [am] slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. {11} And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? {12} Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” 


This process of preparation can be best summed up in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I [must] decrease.


2. “The Work [ergon:G2041] Of The Ministry [diakonia:G1248]”


Today, let’s start by considering the second characteristic found in Eph 4:12,  “the work [ergon:G2041] of the ministry” [diakonia:G1248]. Together these two Greek terms only appear in two other verses: 2 Tim 4:5 and Rev 2:19,


2 Tim 4:1-5 maintains:  “I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; {2} Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. {3} 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. {5} But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work [ergon:G2041] of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”[diakonia:G1248]


Even though we recognize that the “day of salvation” has ended, as we have entered into spiritual “night time,” these admonitions still apply in our day as well as they did, for instance, in Paul’s day (as he penned these words to his protege, Timothy, under divine inspiration). One of three possible reactions surface upon hearing the words of the Bible, as Acts 17:32-34 testify, as Paul encountered when he was on Mars’ Hill in Athens:


“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this [matter]. {33} So Paul departed from among them. {34} Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which [was] Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” 


Rev 2:18-29 is set against the backdrop of the New Testament churches and denominations, whom God warned that if they did not repent, He would remove their “Candlestick” (i.e., Christ, “the Light” of the Gospel), subjecting them to God’s wrath:  “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass; {19} I know thy works [ergon:G2041], and charity, and service [diakonia:G1248], and faith, and thy patience, and thy works [ergon:G2041]; and the last [to be] more than the first. {20} Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. {21} And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. {22} Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. {23} And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. {24} But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. {25} But that which ye have [already] hold fast till I come. {26} And he [Christ] that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: {27} And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. {28} And I will give him the morning star. {29} He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. ”


3. “The Edifying [oikodome:G3619] Of The Body [soma:G4983] Of Christ [Christos:G5547] ”


 The third characteristic in Eph 4:12 is: “the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of the body [soma:G4983] of Christ [Christos:G5547].” It only surfaces one other time in verse 16; [CORRECTION NEEDED] - In reality, it is found 18 times in the New Testament. let’s take a closer look at some of these words used in this verse which describe the spiritual dynamic that is always active within the Body of Christ; I’ll start with verse 15,


“But speaking the truth [aletheuo:G226] in love [agape:G26], may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body [soma:G4983] fitly joined together [synarmologeo:G4883] and compacted [symbibazo:G4822] by that which every joint [haphe:G860] supplieth [epichoregia:G2024], according to the effectual working [energeia:G1753] in the measure [metron:G3358] of every part, maketh increase [auxesis:G838] of the body [soma:G4983] unto the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of itself in love.” [agape:G26]


Fitly Joined Together 


Besides here in Eph 4:16, this term is only found in Eph 2:21,


“In whom all the building fitly framed together [synarmologeo:G4883] groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:”


Compacted 


For a word which is found 6 times in the New Testament, it has 5 different nuances:


Act 9:22, “But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving [symbibazo:G4822] that this is very Christ.”


Act 16:10, “And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering [symbibazo:G4822] that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.”


1 Cor 2:16, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct [symbibazo:G4822] him? But we have the mind of Christ.”


Col 2:2 and 19, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together [symbibazo:G4822] in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; ... {19} And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, [symbibazo:G4822] increaseth with the increase of God.”


Joint


This word also appears in only one other passage, which we just read - Col 2:19,


And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints [haphe:G860] and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”


Supplieth (only found in one other verse)


Here too, only one other citation contains this word - 


“For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply [epichoregia:G2024] of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,”


To The Effectual Working 


This term, energeia (G1753) is where we get our English word, “energy” from; it is found in 7 other places, besides Eph 4:16


Eph 1:19, “And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working [energeia:G1753]of his mighty power,”


Eph 3:7, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working [energeia:G1753] of his power.”


Phl 3:21, “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working [energeia:G1753] whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”


Col 1:29, “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, [energeia:G1753] which worketh in me mightily.”


Col 2:12, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation [energeia:G1753] of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”


Interestingly enough, this word is also identified with Satan’s tactics for duping the unsuspecting members within his kingdom of darkness and death:


2 The 2:9 and 11, “[Even him], whose coming is after the working [energeia:G1753] of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, ... {11} And for this cause God shall send them strong [energeia:G1753] delusion, that they should believe a lie:”





2 Peter - Part 8

June 19, 2016



We are examining  verses 1-2 of 2 Peter 1, and this is Part 8, and we have been discussing how God uses two terms in verse 2, “the knowledge” and “of God” in our last few studies. I’ll read 2 Pet 1:1-2, 


2 Peter 1:1-2


“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 and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of God [theos:G2316], and of Jesus our Lord,”


We have stopped a bit at Eph 4:11-16, since Eph 4:13 is one of six citations (including Eph 1:17, Col 1:10, Col 2:2, and Tit 1:1) that deal with the elect, and which contain the two Greek words, “the knowledge” (epignosis:G1922) and “of God,” (theos:G2316) that we find in 2 Pet 1:2,


“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: {14} 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; {15} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 


3. “The Edifying [oikodome:G3619] Of The Body [soma:G4983] Of Christ [Christos:G5547] ”


 We began looking at the third characteristic in Eph 4:12 which is: “the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of the body [soma:G4983] of Christ [Christos:G5547].” It only surfaces one other time in verse 16; let’s take a closer look at some of these words used in this verse which describe the spiritual dynamic that is always active within the Body of Christ; I’ll start with verse 15,


“But speaking the truth [aletheuo:G226] in love [agape:G26], may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body [soma:G4983] fitly joined together [synarmologeo:G4883] and compacted [symbibazo:G4822] by that which every joint [haphe:G860] supplieth [epichoregia:G2024], according to the effectual working [energeia:G1753] in the measure [metron:G3358] of every part, maketh increase [auxesis:G838] of the body [soma:G4983] unto the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of itself in love.” [agape:G26]


In our last study (2 Peter - Part 7) we went through the various words in this verse down through the term, “to the effectual working;”


The Measure


The next English term in this verse is “the measure” (metron:G3358), which corresponds to the Greek word, “metron,” (from which we get our English word, “meter”) which God employs 13 times, and always as “measure.” Here are some specific passages that relate to our present study:


Mark 4:24-25 sets forth the following principle pertaining to the development (or lack thereof) of one’s spiritual understanding:  “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure [metron:G3358] ye mete [metreo:G3354 - from G3358], it shall be measured [metreo:G3354  - from G3358] to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. {25} For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”


Rom 12:3 speaks about the “measure of faith” that He has given to each genuine believer:  “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure [metron:G3358] of faith.”


Eph 4:7 and 13 also refer to grace which the child of God receives in accordance to the “measure of the gift” (of salvation):  “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure [metron:G3358] of the gift of Christ. ... {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure [metron:G3358] of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”


Of Every


The term “of every” (hekastos:G1538) is very helpful in discussing the “Body of Christ,” especially because it is comprised of many “members,” yet God likens it to a single body - in a sense like the Trinity - which consists of three Divine Persons - existing as One Eternal God. Here are a few ways that God utilizes this word; it actually appears in both Eph 4:7 and Rom 12:3 respectively which were just looking at: 


In Eph 4:7 it is rendered as, “unto every”: “But unto every [hekastos:G1538] one [heis:G1520] of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”


And in Rom 12:3 it is translated as “to every man”: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man [hekastos:G1538] the measure of faith.”


In 1 Cor 3:13 - a very pertinent verse for our present time - this word appears twice as  Every man's [hekastos:G1538] 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 [hekastos:G1538] work of what sort it is.”


Also in a chapter that is dealing with the members of the Body of Christ, this word is found in 1 Cor 12:11 and 18 as “every man” and “every” respectively:  “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man [hekastos:G1538] severally as he will. ... {18} But now hath God set the members every [hekastos:G1538] one [heis:G1520] of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”


Part


The Greek term for “part” is actually comprised of two different words - literally this reads as “one” (heis:G1520) and “part” (meros:G3313). For example, we just read 1 Cor 12:18, and the word “one” is this first word, (heis:G1520). The following are some additional illustrations of its usage:


In John 13:8 is is rendered “part”:  “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part [meros:G3313] with me.”


On the other hand, in 1Cor 12:27, it is translated as “particular”:  “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” [meros:G3313]


In 1 Cor 13:9-10, and 12 it is found three times as “part”:  “For we know in part, [meros:G3313] and we prophesy in part.[meros:G3313] {10} But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part [meros:G3313] shall be done away. ... {12} For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; [meros:G3313] but then shall I know even as also I am known.”


In Rev 22:19 it is also rendered as “part” in this exceedingly solemn warning:  “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part [meros:G3313] out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.”


Maketh Increase Of The Body


The next phrase “maketh increase of the body,” contains three Greek words - “maketh” (poieo:G4160), “increase” (auxesis:G838), and “of the body” (soma:G4983). Let’s consider the word, “increase,” which only occurs one other time - in Col 2:19 - where it is rendered, “with the increase”:  


“And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth [auxano:G837] with the increase [auxesis:G838] of God.”


Please note how the Head (i.e., Christ) ministers spiritual nourishment to the entire body - as is the case with our physical bodies as well. Interestingly enough, the root word for “with the increase” (auxesis:G838) is the preceding word, “increaseth” (auxano:G837). I think we can understand this God-enabled “growth” to refer numerically during the “day of salvation” as well as qualitatively, in terms of spiritual maturity in the individual believers (who make up the Body) who are alive at any given point in history. Because we are living so close to the “day of resurrection,” and God has unsealed His Word (the “opening of the book” in Rev 5:5 as of May 21, 1988), believers today have been privileged to learn a tremendous amount of truth, however we are still in need of “maturity” - which is not an end it itself - but rather a life-long journey of “knowing God,” which will eventually transcend into eternity. This is why we have taken some time to consider these verses that relate to  “the knowledge” (epignosis:G1922)  “of God” (theos:G2316).  elect in 2 Pet 1:2, Paul specifically refers to this objective in Php 3:9-14,


“And be found in him, 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: {10} That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; {11} If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. {12} Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. {13} Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, {14} I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


The root word for “increase” (auxesis:G838) is “increaseth” (auxano:G837) in Col 2:19, and these next passages include this term:


In 1 Cor 3:6-7 we read Who it is that causes the increase: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.[auxano:G837] {7} So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”[auxano:G837]


Eph 2:21 reveals that the Body or Bride of Christ is a holy organism that God had been building beginning with Abel, and throughout history, until the last individual was saved in conjunction with May 21, 2011: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth [auxano:G837] unto an holy temple in the Lord:”


1Pet 2:2 emphasizes that growth occurs by feeding on the Word: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow[auxano:G837] thereby:”


2 Pet 3:18 adds that all growth is botha result of grace (getting what we don’t deserve - think about Jacob’s comment in Gen 32:10a - “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant…” ), as well as a deeper understanding of and appreciation for such divine, unmerited favor: “But grow [auxano:G837] in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”


Body


The Greek word “body” is (soma:G4983), and it appears 146 times, and is translated in the following ways: “body,” “bodily,” or “slave.”  


In John 2:21, for example, it speaks of Christ’s body, which spiritually is a reference to all the believers within the Body of Christ - the eternal church: “But he spake of the temple of his body. [soma:G4983]


This truth is also reaffirmed in Eph 5:30-32, which hearkens back to when God created Eve and brought her to Adam: “For we are members of his body,[soma:G4983] of his flesh, and of his bones. {31} For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. {32} This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.


Gen 2:21-24 records the creation of Eve and the uniting of Adam and Eve in marriage: “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; {22} And the rib [tsela`:H6763], which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. {23} And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. {24} Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”


Lord willing, we will investigate the last phrase in Eph 4:16 -  unto the edifying [oikodome:G3619] of itself in love.” [agape:G26] - before moving on to the remaining verses that contain the words, “the knowledge” (epignosis:G1922) “of God” (theos:G2316): Col 1:10, Col 2:2, and Tit 1:1. Also I mentioned that on Facebook we would have a Bible Study Workshop on Psa 1, which I have decided to change to the word, “rib” (tsela`:H6763) above.





2 Peter - Part 9

July 3, 2016


In our study of 2 Pet 1:2 we have been looking at some verses that contain the terms “knowledge” (epignosis:G1922) “of God” (theos:G2316), and which specifically relate to the elect. (We still need to consider the remaining ones - Col 1:10, Col 2:2, and Tit 1:1.) One of these verses is Eph 4:13, and since this is found within the context of Eph 4:11-16 we have spent a number of studies looking at some of the 14 or so characteristics which pertain to the Body of Christ in this intriguing passage, which states,


“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: {14} 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; {15} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 


So far in our study we have considered 8 of these 14 characteristics, which I’ll try to briefly summarize, before considering the 6 remaining ones (highlighted in yellow):


1.  “perfecting of the saints” - The Greek noun “perfecting” (katartismos:G2677) is only used here in Eph 4:12, but its root or “parent” word is the Greek verb katartizo (G2675), and is found 13 times, and appears in the following ways: “perfect,” “ make perfect,” “mend,”  “be perfect,” “fit,”  “frame,”  “prepare,” “restore,” and  “perfectly joined together.” As we considered the immediate context in each of these 13 passages, we noted 6 negative aspects pertaining to “perfecting,” and 19 positive attributes regarding this ongoing process of “perfecting” within the individual believers who make up the Body of Christ (as well as the Body in its entirety) keeping in mind that this entire operation is directed by God Himself.


2. “the work of the ministry ” - Only found in two verses - 2 Tim 4:5 and Rev 2:19 - the former reflects the role of a faithful pastor during the church age; the latter with the initial faithfulness of the New Testament churches and denominations (and at various times over the 1955 years of the church age) which in less than 30 years or so degenerated into apostasy, as God warned in Rev 2 and 3, until finally their “candlestick” (typifying Christ - as the Light of the Gospel) was removed on May 21, 1988, and “...judgment… [began] at the house of God.” (1 Pet 4:17):


2 Tim 4:5 “But watch [nepho:G3525 - same word, “sober” in verses 6 (note the association with a different word for “watch” - G1127 - “watching” in the Bible: Mark 13:34-35, and 37; Rev 16:15) and 8 of 1 The 5:1-11 - note in verse 11, the word, “edify” (G3618) - we’ll see this word again shortly - and “comfort” (G3870) - parent word of G3874 found as “comfort” in Rom 15:4 - true “comfort” is found in the Bible ] thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work [ergon:G2041] of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”[diakonia:G1248]


Rev 2:19, “I know thy works, [ergon:G2041]  and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; [ergon:G2041]  and the last [to be] more than the first.”


As individuals, believers today likewise are to be “sober,” “endure afflictions,” “do the work of an evangelist” [by sharing the Word of God (“feeding sheep”) with others (realizing that the day of salvation is over)], and to be “fully persuaded” (“make full proof”) of God’s calling.


3. “the edifying of the body of Christ” - Only found in Eph 4:12 and 16 per 2 Peter - Part 7 - THIS IS INCORRECT - actually found 18 times in the New Testament. This word oikodome (G3619) is used to describe the “buildings” of the Old Testament Temple (which point spiritually to the institutional churches and denominations); it can also refer to the Body of Christ as a whole; additionally, it is the means whereby others are “built up” spiritually - by the words of Scripture - which reflect the grace of God, as the subsequent verses demonstrate:


Foreshadowing the “end of the church age,” Mar 13:2 reveals, “And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? [oikodome:G3619] there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”


Rom 14:19, Let us [dioko:G1377] therefore follow after [dioko:G1377] the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify [oikodome:G3619] another.”


1 Co 14:3, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, [oikodome:G3619] and exhortation, and comfort.”


2 Cor 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building [oikodome:G3619] of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”


Eph 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, [oikodome:G3619] that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”


4. “Till [mechri:G3360] we all come [katantao:G2658] in the unity [henotes:G1775] of the faith [pistis:G4102]” - These two terms do not appear together except here. The word “the unity” is only found here in Eph 4:13 and in Eph 4:3, however I’ll read verses 1-6 for the sake of the context: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, {2} With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; {3} Endeavouring [spoudazo:G4704 - “study,” “be diligent,” “labor,” etc.] to keep the unity [henotes:G1775 - from G1520] of the Spirit in the bond of peace. {4} [There is] one [heis:G1520] body, and one [heis:G1520] Spirit, even as ye are called in one [mia:G3391 - feminine of G1520] hope of your calling; {5} One [heis:G1520] Lord, one [heis:G1520] faith, one [mia:G3391 - feminine of G1520]   baptism, {6} One [heis:G1520] God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.”


I would like to briefly touch upon these two words - “till” (mechri:G3360) and “come” (katantao:G2658) - before moving on. The word, “till” denotes an apex or end point, as these next citations show:


With regarding to the separating of the wheat from the tares (which began within the churches on May 21, 1988) Mat 13:30 instructs, “Let both grow together until [mechri:G3360] 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 them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”


Act 20:7 recounts the precise time when Paul stopped preaching on Sunday:  “And upon the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until [mechri:G3360] midnight.” [Note the Roman “day” which goes from midnight to midnight - like ours; on the other hand, the Hebrew “day” goes from “sunset to sunset.”]


And in 1 Tim 6:14, Paul exhorts his young protege Timothy with these words:  “That thou keep [this] commandment [see verses 2-3, 5-6, 10-12] without spot, unrebukeable, until [mechri:G3360] the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:”


Lastly Heb 3:14 warns, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto[mechri:G3360] the end;”


The two words, “we all” (pas:G3956)  and “come” (katantao:G2658) appear in 13 verses - one of which is verse 11 of Php 3:10-14. This passage  is a powerful affirmation of the “growing in grace” process which really spans the true believer’s lifetime - and keep in mind that this is the Apostle Paul, who is being led to declare these truths under divine inspiration, and please note the verbs - “attain,” “follow after,” “apprehend,” “forgetting.” “reaching forth,” and “press”:  


“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; {11} If by any means I might attain [katantao:G2658]  unto the resurrection of the dead. {12} Not as though I had already attained [lambano:G2983 - “received” - as in John 3:27] either were already perfect: [teleioo:G5048 - “finish,” “fulfill”] but I follow after [dioko:G1377 - same word as , “persecute” - think of Jacob wrestling with God (positively) or the Judaizers who kept harassing Paul (negatively)], if that I may apprehend [kata-lambano:G2638] that for which also I am apprehended [kata-lambano:G2638]  of Christ Jesus. {13} Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended [kata-lambano:G2638]: but [this] one thing [heis:G1520 - remember above - “one Lord,” “one faith,” “one baptism,” etc. ]  [I do], forgetting those things which are behind [opiso:G3694 - Luke 9:62. “back”] and reaching forth unto [epekteinomai:G1901]  those things which are before, {14} I press toward the mark for the prize [brabeion:G1017] of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” 


katalambano (G2983) is also used in the following ways:


1 Cor 9:24, “Know ye not that they which run in a race [stadion:G4712 - “furlong”] run all, but one receiveth the prize [brabeion:G1017] ? So run, that ye may obtain. [katalambano:G2638]


Eph 3:18-19, “May be able to comprehend [katalambano:G2638] with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;”


1 The 5:4, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake [katalambano:G2638] you as a thief.”


One last verse is Acts 20:24, in which we find all three words - “received”, “finished,” and “ministry,” -  in which Paul sums up his divine calling: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish [teleioo:G5048]  my course with joy, and the ministry [diakonia:G1248], which I have received [lambano:G2983] of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”  


5. “of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316]” - These are the two main words we have been examining.


6. “unto [eis:G1519] a perfect [teleios:G5046] man [aner:G435] - Please note the same word “perfect” rendered as such in Php 3:12, and “that I might finish”  which we just read in Acts 20:24. 


7. “unto [eis:G1519] the measure [metron:G3358] of the stature [helikia:G2244] of the fulness [pleroma:G4138 ] of Christ [Christos:G5547]” - I WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME STUDYING THIS - I WILL COMMENT AT OUR NEXT FELLOWSHIP.


8. “be [0:G5600] no more [meketi:G3371] children [nepeios:G3516 - 1 Cor 3:1, Heb 5:13]... tossed to and fro [klydonizomai:G2831, from G2830 - “ a wave” in Jam1:6  ] and carried about with [periphero:G4064 - Heb 13:9, Jude 1:12 ] every [pas:G3956] wind [anemos:G417 - see  Acts 27:15, “a tempestuous “wind” - against the churches and denominations, destroying them (i.e., the ship)]] of doctrine [didaskalia:G1319] ”


9. But “speaking the truth [aletheuo:G226]  in love [agape:G26] ” - This word, “speaking the truth” is only found one other time -  in Gal 4:16, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell [aletheuo:G226]  you the truth [aletheuo:G226]?”


In the historical context, Paul is admonshing the Galatians with regard to the difference between the Bible, “as the law of God” and the Bible “as the grace of God,” by means of a historical parable (verses 21-31) regarding Abraham’s two wives - Sarah and Hagar - along with their respective children - Isaac and Ishmael, as verses 8-11, and 19-20 explain:


“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. {9} But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? {10} Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. {11} I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain... {19} My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, {20}  I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.”


10. “may grow up [auxano:G837] into him in all things” [pas:G3956]


2 Cor 10:15 “Not boasting of things without [our] measure, [that is], of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, [auxano:G837] that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,”


Eph 2:21, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth [auxano:G837] unto an holy temple in the Lord:”


Eph 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up [auxano:G837] into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:”


Col 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing [auxano:G837] in the knowledge of God;”


11. “from whom the whole body fitly joined together” - This term only appears again in Eph 2:21 as “fitly framed together.” I’ll read verse 22 as well: “In whom all the building fitly framed together [synarmologeo:G4883] groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: {22} In whom ye also are builded together [synoikodomeo:G4925] for an habitation 

[katoiketerion:G2732] of God through the Spirit.”  It’s worth noting that synoikodomeo (G4925) is related to oikodome (G3619) in the passages we just read having to do with “building” or “edifying.” Furthermore, Eph 4:22 is also a very unique verse, in that the word, “an habitation” (katoiketerion:G2732) only appears in one other verse. In Eph 2:22, the Body of Christ is in view, whereas Rev 18:2 depicts how the world fell under the judgment of God (as of May 21, 2011), even as the institutional churches and denominations did on May 21, 1988 - since both of these are referred to in the Bible as “Babylon” or the “kingdom of Satan”: “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation [katoiketerion:G2732] of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”

2 Peter - Part 10

August 7, 2016


(Read entire chapter first.) In our ongoing study of 2 Peter, chapter one, we have been looking at some verses that contain the terms “knowledge” (epignosis:G1922) “of God” (theos:G2316), and which specifically relate to the elect. (We still need to consider the remaining ones - Col 1:10, Col 2:2, and Tit 1:1 - which Lord willing, we will try to tackle today.) One of these verses is Eph 4:13, and since this is found within the context of Eph 4:11-16 and we have spent a number of studies looking at some of the 14 or so characteristics which pertain to the Body of Christ in this intriguing passage, which states,


“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of the Son of God [theos:G2316], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: {14} 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; {15} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: {16} From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 


We are down to the last 4 characteristics found in this passage - namely - # 12-13, and # 7  (which is out of order) because, as I mentioned in our last study, I needed to spend more time on this phrase in #7, which we will now consider:


7. Eph 4:13b, “Unto [eis:G1519] The Measure [metron:G3358] Of The Stature [helikia:G2244] Of The Fulness [pleroma:G4138 ] Of Christ [Christos:G5547]” 


The word, “measure” (metron:G3358) surfaces 13 times in the New Testament in a variety of applications, such as the “measure” of faith or the “measure” of the gift of salvation, or in the case of the Savior He was not given the Holy Spirit by “measure” (or degree); instead He had the fulness or totality of the Holy Spirit. This term can also refer to how one “judges” (or “measures”) oneself or others, etc., resulting in spiritual blessing or condemnation; it is also used as a spiritual “yardstick” as well. Here are a few examples:


Eph 4:7, 13 reveal: “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure [metron:G3358]  of the gift of Christ. [Christos:G5547] ... {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure [metron:G3358] of the stature of the fulness of Christ [Christos:G5547]:”


And Rom 12:3 maintains, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure [metron:G3358] of faith. (i.e., “Christ”)[pistis:G4102]


12. Eph 4:16b, Compacted [symbibazo:G4822] By [dia:G1223] That Which Every [pas:G3956] Joint [haphe:G860] Supplieth” [epichoregia:G2024]


The word “compacted” (symbibazo:G4822) is a very expressive term, given the fact that it only appears in 6 verses, and yet is rendered by 4 other different English words, besides “compacted”: “knit together,” “prove,” “assuredly gather,” and “instruct.” It is also found in Col 2:2 - one of the 3 remaining verses that contain the two words we have have examining - “knowledge” (epignosis:G1922) “of God” (theos:G2316), which I will address later on in our study.


Col 2:2, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together  [symbibazo:G4822] in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;” 


The term, “joints” only appears in one other citation - Col 2:19,


“And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints [haphe:G860] and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”


13. Eph 4:16c, According [kata:G2596] To The Effectual Working [energeia:G1753] In [en:G1722] The Measure [metron:G3358] Of Every [hekastos:G1538] Part [heis:G1520/meros:G3313] 


With regard to the Body of Christ, which we have been considering, we read the following references that contain the term, “part” (meros:G3313)


In 1 Cor 12:27 God explains that all the elect (comprised of individual believers) make up the Body or Bride of Christ, in which the word, “part” is rendered, “particular”: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” [meros:G3313]


The reason one is included in the Body or Bride of Christ is due to the mercy and grace of Christ’s atonement for a person’s sins, prior to Creation, as Rev 20:6 reveals: “Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part [meros:G3313] in the first resurrection [i.e., the resurrection of one’s soul, which is salvation]: on such the second death [i.e., the grave and annihilation] hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”[i.e., a symbolical number referring to eternity, and signifying “completeness”]


The gift of God’s grace and mercy in salvation was bestowed on each of the elect from the foundation of the world - a result of the Faith and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ - as expressed by the term, “...the effectual working” (energeia:G1753); incidentally, our English word, “energy” is derived from this word. The following citations demonstrate how God associates this term with salvation, service, and ultimately, the glorious transformation of the believers’ bodies:


Col 2:12 is one of 13 Old and New Testament verses that prove that redemption is based on the faith of Christ, and G1753 is rendered “of the operation”:  “Buried with him in baptism [“of the Spirit” - not water baptism], wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation [energeia:G1753] of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”


Likewise verse 19 of Eph 1:17-20 translates this word as “the working”: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: {18} The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, {19} And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working [energeia:G1753] of his mighty power, {20} Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],” 


Php 3:21 also renders this words as “the working” as well: “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working [energeia:G1753] whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”


Col 1:10, Col 2:2, Tit 1:1


In the time we have left, let’s consider the remaining three verses that contain the two words we have been examining - “knowledge” (epignosis:G1922) “of God” (theos:G2316), as they relate specifically to the elect.


We read in verse 10 of Col 1:9-10, in which the same word for “knowledge” appears in both verses 9 and 10: “For this cause we [Paul and Timotheus] also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you [“...the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse…”], and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; {10} That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing [auxano:G837] in the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of God;” [theos:G2316]


In this verse we see how Paul is compelled to pray for the saints in Colosse with regard to three specific requests: 1.) that they might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 2.) that they walk in a manner that would be pleasing to the Lord and be fruitful in every good work; and 3.) that they would be  in the knowledge of God; by the way, this term is employed with regard to numerical growth as well as to spiritual maturity, as in this case. 


In verse 2 of  Col 2:2-3 these two terms, “the knowledge” and “of God” are translated, “the acknowledgment” (epignosis:G1922) and “of God” (theos:G2316): “That their [the saints at Colosse] hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement [epignosis:G1922] of the mystery of God, [theos:G2316] and of the Father, and of Christ; {3} In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”


This passage like so many others in the Bible is replete with many Biblical concepts - “comfort,” “love,” “riches,” “understanding,” “mystery,” and “wisdom.”  “The knowlege of God” is also expressed in terms of a “mystery” (mysterion:G3466) - underscoring the parabolic nature of the Word of God itself - as God unfolded it slowly throughout most of the church age, until our day when the “little book” (i.e., the Bible) was “unsealed” by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Rev 5:5; (keeping in mind that He was the same One Who “sealed” it back in Dan 12:4 and 9). Notice too, how “the knowledge of God” is the repository of both the “riches” and “treasures” of “wisdom and knowledge.” I was also reminded of how God tempers, among other things, the “mysteries” of such “understanding,” “wisdom,” and “knowedge” with the superiority of “love” (specifically God’s love in salvation) in 1 Cor 13:1-3,


“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. {2} And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. {3} And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”


The last verse I want to mention is Tit 1:1, which contains these two words “the knowledge” (epignosis:G1922)  and “of God” (theos:G2316),

“Paul, a servant of God, [theos:G2316]  and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging [epignosis:G1922] of the truth [aletheia:G225] which is after godliness;”


In this verse, the word “the knowlege” is not directly related to “of God” (theos:G2316), [since it is modifying the term, “servant,” speaking of Paul] but rather is modifying the word, “truth,” (aletheia:G225). However, we do know that “God” is most certainly the embodiment of “Truth,” as the Savior proclaimed in John 14:6, where the identical word is used: ... I am the way, the truth, [aletheia:G225] and the life...”