Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

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

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

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2 Peter 3 - Part 1

August 18, 2019


Welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we begin by asking God’s blessing upon our time together...  I have decided to embark on 2 Peter 3, so this will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 1, and today’s date is August 18, 2019.


Before delving into this chapter, I would like to highlight some of the words and phrases in chapter 1 (these studies date back to 2015) that are also found in chapter 3. Lord willing, next Sunday we will do the same with Chapter 2 (these studies date back to 2017) My objective for doing this is two-fold:


  1. It will serve to remind us of some of the important truths in those chapters.
  2. It also provides continuity, as God repeats key doctrines that He wants the elect to be especially aware of today -  in our current day of judgment. 


We’re going to be flipping back and forth from 2 Peter 1 and 2 Peter 3. So, with that in mind, let’s begin with...


2 Peter 1


  • Verses 3-4: “According as his divine power hath given [doreomai:G1433] unto us [hemin:G2254] all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: {4} Whereby are given [doreomai:G1433] unto us [hemin:G2254] exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”



The two Greek terms “hath given” / “are given” (doreomai:G1433) and “unto us” (hemin:G2254) only appear together in verses 3-4 of 2 Peter 1. Interestingly enough, doreomai (G1433) is only found again in verse 15 of  Mark 15:43-45, 


“Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. {44} And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling [unto him] the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.{15} And when he [Pilate] knew [it] of the centurion, he gave [doreomai:G1433] the body to Joseph.”


Spiritually, God is equating the “body” of the Lord Jesus, Who is the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14) that Joseph of Arimathea was “craving” (“begged” is the term that is employed in Matthew 27:48) Pilate for, with all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness,” and “exceeding great and precious promises” - which God gave to His elect children, as these two expressions exemplify the Word of God. 


I’ll explain. We want to keep in mind that Pilate, the Roman Governor, gave the legal sentence for Christ to be executed by crucifixion, As the legal authority, he represents God the Judge. Of equal importance is Pilate’s assessment of Jesus’ innocency twice in John 19:4 and 6 - which the elect understand because He was not paying for sins in 33 AD: 


“Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. ... {6} When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify [him], crucify [him]. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify [him]: for I find no fault in him.”  


Just as Pilate gave the body of the Lord Jesus Christ to Joseph of Arimathea, God has given His people all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness,” and “exceeding great and precious promises.” Think about this for a moment - all things…[“pertain” is not in the original] unto life and godliness” - that is everything that God’s saints need, but then He also adds this wonderful aspect inherent in the Scriptures - “exceeding great and precious promises.” Immediately we recollect Matthew 4:4 and Deuteronomy 8:3, respectively:


Matthew 4:4 maintains, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.


And Deuteronomy 8:3 testifies, “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.


I also want to point out that the word, “promises” (epaggelma:G1862) in 2 Peter 1:4… I’ll read it again:


“Whereby are given [doreomai:G1433] unto us [hemin:G2254] exceeding great and precious promises [epaggelma:G1862]: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”


...is only found one other time - in verse 13 - of 2 Peter 3:12-14,


Looking for [prosdakao:G4328] and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, [prosdakao:G4328] [G0] according to his promise [epaggelma:G1862], look for [prosdakao:G4328] new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for [prosdakao:G4328] such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”


I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I want to bring to your attention a word that is found in each of these three verses (highlighting the “purpose of God”)  and is one of the main truths that we are going to be investigating in 2 Peter 3 - namely, “looking for,” “we look for,” and “seeing that ye look for” - this is the Greek term prosdakao” (G4328), which is found 16 times, and translated as: look for(8x), waited for” (with G2258) (2x), expect (1x), be in expectation(1x), look (1x), look when(1x), waiting for(1x), and  tarry(1x).


  • Verses 5 and 10: “And beside this, giving all diligence [spoude:G4710 - noun], add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge [gnosis:G1108]; ... {10} Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence [spoudazo:G4704 - verb derived from G4710] to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”


In these two verses there are three words that we want to consider; the first two are related terms, rendered as “diligence;” the third one is “knowledge” in verse 5. The  root word of G4710 is: “speudo” (G4692)  which is only found in 6 references, and always rendered as some form of the verb, “make haste;” for example in 2 Peter 3:12, it is employed as “hasting,” and we will be discussing in future studies, how critically significant this word is, as it is found connected with the expression “looking for”:


“Looking for and hasting [speudo:G4692] unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”


The word, “knowledge” (gnosis:G1108) in 2 Peter 1:5 is one of seven virtues that are listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7, and also appears in 2 Peter 3:18, and as we will learn, is linked to “grow[ing] in grace,” which is the lifelong pursuit of God’s saints, as God works in them, “...to will and to do of his good pleasure,” as Philippians 2:13 so beautifully affirms:


“But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge [gnosis:G1108] of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”


  • Verses 9-10 (speaking of these 7 virtues): “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten [lethe:G3204] that he was purged from his old sins. {10} Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”


The term “and hath forgotten” is made up of two words, (lethe:G3024), and the term “received” (lambano:G2983) This word is only found in this one verse, but its root (or parent word) is “lanthano” (G2990). This Greek verb is highly significant, because of the way in which God utilizes it; it is rendered in the following ways in 6 places: be hid (3x), be ignorant of (2x), and once as unawares.” These verses fall into two categories: three verses deal with things that are not hidden, while the second set pertain to things that are hidden.  Two of the three verses in this latter group are found in 2 Peter 3:5 and 8, which speaks directly to our present “day of judgment,” which began on May 21, 2011 and ties back to the Flood of Noah’s day 7000 years earlier on the 17th day of the 2nd month; this term also adds a nuance that we might not anticipate - that of ignorance - actually - willful ignorance


“For this they willingly are ignorant of, [lanthano:G2990] that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: ... {8} But, beloved, be [lanthano:G2990] not ignorant [lanthano:G2990] of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”


The emphasis of being “willingly ignorant” in 2 Peter 3:5 along with the admonition in verse 8 to not “be ignorant” of “this one thing” - which is a time clue: “...that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

 

  • Verses 12-13, and 15: “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance [hypomimnesko:G5279] of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth. {13} Yea, I think it meet [hegeomai:G2233], as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance [hypomnesis:G5280]; ... {15} Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” [mneme:G3420]


In these verses you will note the very strong emphasis on the term, “in remembrance,” (especially in relationship to “forgetting” or being “ignorant”) as it appears three times in English as such; but in the Greek, all three words are related. For our purposes today, I just want to focus on the second one in verse 13 (hypomnesis:G5280), which is derived from the first one, (G5279). This expression also surfaces in verse 2 of 2 Peter 3:1-2, as “of remembrance”: 


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up [diegeiro:G1326 - “by rising,” “awake” ] your pure minds by way of remembrance [hypomnesis:G5280]: {2} That ye may be mindful [mnaomai:G3415 - the grandparent root word of G5279] of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:”


Incidentally, there is another word in 2 Peter 1:13 that I want to discuss, which is “I think it meet,” (hegeomai:G2233) and is associated with “putting in remembrance” (G5280):


“Yea, I think it meet [hegeomai:G2233], as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance;” [hypomnesis:G5280]


This expression, “I think it meet”  also emerges in 2 Peter 3:9 and 15, as “count” and “account” respectively:

 

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count [hegeomai:G2233] slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. {15} And account [hegeomai:G2233][that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 


The next term in 2 Peter 1:13, is “to stir up”: “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir [diegeiro:G1326] you up [diegeiro:G1326] by putting [you] in remembrance;” [hypomnesis:G5280]; 


“Digiero” (G1326) is comprised of two words: “dia”(G1223) - a preposition (“by,” or “through”) and “egeiro”(G1453) (rendered as various forms of the Greek verb, “rise” or “raise” from “sleep” for example), and in 2 Peter 3:1 is translated as, “I stir up”:
 

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up [diegeiro:G1326] your pure minds by way of remembrance:”


All of us need to be “stirred up” in our minds because we forget various truths, unless we are constantly reminded of them, and this is what God is pinpointing. In verse 2, there is a related word, “that ye may be mindful,” (G3415) which makes the point even more forcefully. And what are God’s “sheep” to be mindful of? 

The answer lies in the rest of verse 2: “...the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:”  As we find ourselves in this day of judgment, in which Satan’s kingdom is being systematically dismantled and shamed in the eyes of the world, where sin is abounding in unparalleled fashion, and this world has become a spiritual graveyard, with corpses strewn across the face of the earth as it were. It’s like a battlefield, in which there are nothing but dead bodies, but every now and then you find someone that has escaped the “Sword,” and is spiritually alive - one of God’s sheep. And we are to remind each other and “feed” each other with the Word of God - that is the spiritual “compass” that our minds need to follow. It alone offers true hope, encouragement, and stability, in a world that has gone mad, because it is under the fierce wrath of God.


  • Verse 16: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming [parousia:G3952] of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”


Verse 4 and 12 of  2 Peter 3 likewise contain this same term rendered as “coming” and “unto the coming”: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming [parousia:G3952]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation...{12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming [parousia:G3952] of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”


The spiritual atmosphere that has enveloped this world can be summarized in the faithless question, “where is the promise of his coming?” which those in the churches pay lip service to, but in reality are not earnestly looking for it, so instead of blatantly denying it, they couch it in the language of “ignorance” - and in spite of their many doctrinal differences, they are united in this erroneous doctrine, exclaiming with one strident voice:  “no man KNOWS the day or hour!” In spite of this prevailing spiritual atmosphere, the genuine child of God is earnestly to “look for/wait/expect” the final stage of his salvation (i.e.,“the resurrection of his body”) with eager anticipation. God’s true people will “not be ashamed” by His “coming,” and will have “boldness in the day of judgment,” as one reads in 1 John 4:17,


“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”


I will close our study with one final passage in 2 Peter 1:20, which contains five key words in this noteworthy reference:


  • Verse 20: Knowing [ginosko:G1097]  this [touto:G5124]   first [proton:G4412], that no prophecy of the scripture [graphe:G1124] 

is of any private [idios:G2398] interpretation.”


These first three terms in 2 Peter 1:20 - “knowing this first” -  are only found together in verse 3 of 2 Peter 3:1-4, 


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing [ginosko:G1097] this [touto:G5124] first [proton:G4412], that there shall come in the last days scoffers [empaiktes:G1703], walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.” 


Incidentally, the word, “scoffers” in 2 Peter 3:3 is only used again in verse 18 of Jude 17-19, in which it is rendered as “mockers”: 


“But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; {18} How that they told you there should be mockers [empaiktes:G1703] in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. {19} These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”


Please note the emphasis on the “words of Scripture” that believers are to “be mindful of,” and “remember” in both the 2 Peter 3 as well as the Jude passage.

You will recall that there is also a great deal of similarity between 2 Peter 2 and the the book of Jude, as they both concern “false prophets” or “false teachers,” as will be discussed, Lord willing, when we address 2 Peter 2 next Sunday. 


There are two other words that I want us to look at in 2 Peter 1:20 - “of the scripture” (graphe:G1124) along with, “of any private” (idios:G2398): 


Knowing [ginosko:G1097]  this [touto:G5124]   first [proton:G4412], that no prophecy of the scripture [graphe:G1124] is of any private [idios:G2398] interpretation.”


2 Peter 3:16 explains what  those who are spiritually “unlearned and unstable” conclude about the Bible, hence the expression, “scriptures” and where that ultimately leads them, as he refers to Paul’s writings, under divine inspiration: 


“As also in all [his - “Paul”] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures [graphe:G1124], unto their own destruction.”


The last expression in 2 Peter 1:20, “of any private” (idios:G2398), emerges in 2 Peter 3:3 and in verse 16 and 17, for a total of three times:


“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own [idios:G2398]  lusts, ... {16} As also in all his epistles [referring to “Paul the Apostle”], speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own [idios:G2398]  destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own [idios:G2398] stedfastness.


Jude 1:6 similarly employs this same word, as “their own”: 


“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own [idios:G2398] habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, we will consider 2 Peter 2 next Sunday, August 25th. In the meantime, you might want to read 2 Peter 3 to familiarize yourself with it, as we will be investigating that chapter in detail, starting September 1st. That might also give you an opportunity to ask questions related to 2 Peter 3 that you can bring up during our upcoming Q & A’s. 


Let’s close in prayer, and then I will announce our closing hymns. 


2 Peter 3 - Part 2

August 25, 2019


Welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we begin by asking God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 2, and today’s date is August 25, 2019.


Before delving into this chapter, I would like to highlight some of the words and phrases in chapter 2 (these studies date back to 2017) that are also found in chapter 3. I am doing this or two reasons:


  1. It will serve to remind us of some of the important truths in those chapters.
  2. It also provides continuity, as God repeats key doctrines that He wants the elect to be especially aware of today -  in our current day of judgment. 


We’re going to be flipping back and forth in between 2 Peter 2 and 2 Peter 3. So, with that in mind, let’s begin with…


2 Peter 2:1-3, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [apoleia:G684]  {2} And many shall follow their pernicious ways [apoleia:G684]; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. {3} And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time  [ekpalai:G1597]  lingereth not, and their damnation [apoleia:G684] slumbereth not.”


Now Of A Long Time [ekpalai:G1597] 


The word, “...now of a long time,” in 2 Peter 2:3, only appears one other time in 2 Peter 3:5, as “of old”:


“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, [ekpalai:G1597] and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:”


The term “ekpalai” (G1597) is a compound word, made up of “ek-” (G1537), a preposition, commonly rendered as “of,” “from,” or “out of,” and the main word, “palai” (G3819), which is an adverb having to do with time. For example, it occurs in Jude 4 as “of old,” and you will recall that the book of Jude and 2 Peter 2 have many similarities, as they both deal with the subject of “false prophets” or “false teachers”: 


“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old [palai:G3819] ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”


And [kai:G2532] Their [autos:G846] Damnation [apoleia:G684] Slumbereth [nystazo:G3573] Not [ou:G3756]


The next phrase, “...and their damnation slumbereth not”  is a re-statement if you will, of the one preceeding it: “... whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not…”


We began today’s lesson by considering the word, “damnation” (or “perdition,” “pernicious,” and “destruction”) in verses 2 Peter 2:1-3; they also emerge in 2 Peter 3:7 and 16:


“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition [apoleia:G684] of ungodly men. ... {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. [apoleia:G684] 


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


To Be Reserved [tereo:G5083] Unto [eis:G1519] Judgment [krisis:G2920]


The last phrase in 2 Peter 2:4, “...to be reserved unto judgment,” is composed of three terms, and also surfaces in 2 Peter 2:9, as well as in 2 Peter 3:7 (and I might add, Jude 6), and all of them relate to our current, “day of judgment”:


2 Peter 2:9 acknowledges, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve  [tereo:G5083] the unjust unto [eis:G1519] the day of judgment [krisis:G2920] to be punished:”


2 Peter 3:7 adds: “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved [tereo:G5083] unto [eis:G1519] fire against the day of judgment [krisis:G2920] and perdition of ungodly men.”


Jude 1:6 similarly states: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved [tereo:G5083] in everlasting chains under darkness unto [eis:G1519]  the judgment [krisis:G2920] of the great day.”


2 Peter 2:5 declares: “And spared not the old world [kosmos:G2889], but saved [phylasso:G5442]  Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness [dikaisyne:G1343], bringing in the flood upon the world  [kosmos:G2889] of the ungodly;” 


World [kosmos:G2889]


Hebrews 11:7 provides a commentary on Noah and his family, in which God singles him out as the “heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (i.e., “by Christ”), as his family would be the one through whom God would re-populate the world after the Flood, as God commanded in Genesis 9, both physically and spiritually, as God saved His elect one at a time, throughout the day of salvation:


“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, [kosmos:G2889] and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”


2 Peter 3:6 maintains: “Whereby the world [kosmos:G2889] that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”


But [alla:G235] Saved [phylasso:G5442] Noah [Noe:G3575] The Eighth [ogdoos:H3590] [Person]


The next phrase in verse 5 is: “...but saved Noah the eighth [person]...” We learn from Genesis 6 that Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD...was a just man [and] perfect in his generations… [and that he] walked with God.God also declared to him: “But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.”  These details concerning Noah indicate that he was indeed one of God's elect, by God’s grace (along with the rest of his family by virtue of the fact that they were on the Ark - which is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ). 


Saved [phylasso:G5442]


This particular term, “saved” is more commonly rendered as “keep.” Verse 17 of 2 Peter 3:13-18 is a critical warning, in which this word, “saved” is translated as “beware”: 


“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. {15} And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware [phylasso:G5442] lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

 

 A Preacher [keryx:G2783] Of Righteousness [dikaisyne:G1343] 


The expression, “of righteousness,” in 2 Peter 2:5 also emerges in 2 Peter 3:13, which is a wonderful reminder of that which is to come: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” [dikaisyne:G1343]


Upon The World [kosmos:G2889] Of The Ungodly [asebes:G765]


The last phrase in 2 Peter 2:5 is: “...upon the world of the ungodly.” The same word for “world” (G2889) is repeated here, and the compound term, “of the ungodly,” (asebes:G765) which is made up of “a-” (G1- denoting negation) and “sebo” (G4576), which is normally rendered as “worship.”  It is translated as “of ungodly” in 2 Peter 3:7,  


“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly [asebes:G765] men.”


In 2 Peter 2:7-8 we read:  “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:” [athesmos:G113] {8} (For that righteous man dwelling [egkatoikeo:G1460] among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)”


Of The Wicked [athesmos:G113]


The next word that we want to turn our attention to is in verse 7, “of the wicked” accentuates the separation between Lot and the non-elect in Sodom. This term is only found in one other reference - in verse 17 of 2 Peter 3:17-18,


“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked [athesmos:G113], fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”


Dwelling [egkatoikeo:G1460] Among [en:G1722] Them [autos:G846]


In fact, the term, “dwelling” only appears here, but its main root word (it’s a compound word) is “katoikeo” (G2730). So, we can certainly relate to Lot’s “vexation” as genuine believers in our present “day of judgment” live in a world that has been given up by God, culminating at the end of this prolonged period of time with the annihilation of each of the elect, as well as this entire universe after which God will usher in “the New Heavens and the New Earth” -  as we read earlier in 2 Peter 3:13, 


“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth [katoikeo:G2730] righteousness.” [dikaisyne:G1343]



2 Peter 2:10, “But chiefly them that walk [poreuo:G4198] after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” 


Them That Walk [poreuo:G4198]


The next expression we want to consider is “...them that walk…” in 2 Peter 2:10, and also crops up in verse 3 of 2 Peter 3:1-4,


“ This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking [poreuo:G4198] after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.”


The last reference we want to look at today is in 2 Peter 2:20,  “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world [kosmos:G2889] through the knowledge  [epignosis:G1922] of the Lord [kyrios:G2962] and [kai:G2532] Saviour [soter:G4990] Jesus [Iesous:G2424] Christ [Christos:G5547], they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”


2 Peter 3:18 is a wonderful reminder, and is the verse which God has chosen to end the book of 2 Peter, in which a number of the same key words in 2 Peter 2:20 are repeated in 2 Peter 3:18 - “knowledge,” “Lord,” “Saviour,” “Jesus,” and “Christ”: “But grow in grace, and [kai:G2532] [in] the knowledge [epignosis:G1922] of our Lord [kyrios:G2962]  and [kai:G2532] Saviour [soter:G4990] Jesus [Iesous:G2424] Christ [Christos:G5547]. To him [be] glory both [kai:G2532] now and [kai:G2532]  for ever. Amen.”

Now that we have seen the important “tie-ins” from 2 Peter 1 and 2 that are repeated in 2 Peter 3, I would like to read that entire chapter, and then starting next Sunday, Lord willing, we will begin our verse-by-verse examination:


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. {5} For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {6} Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: {7} But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. {8} But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. {11} [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, {12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. {15} And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”


Please stay tuned for our hymn sing next. 2 Peter 3 - Part 3






2 Peter 3 - Part 3

September 1, 2019


Welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we begin by asking God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 3, and today’s date is September 1, 2019. I’ll begin by reading verses 1-2, which will be the focus of today’s study:


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:”


Keeping that thought in mind, I also want to mention that one of the things that I would like to emphasize in this chapter - as I tried to do in 2 Peter 1 and 2 - is to focus on how to study the Bible. I can’t stress this enough because my job is not to just “give you a fish,” but rather “teach you how to fish.” If I don’t do this, I really haven't done my job correctly. And I might add that it’s not so much looking at Strong numbers (although they are very helpful), but it’s really by learning the Hebrew and Greek alphabet for starters, which are based on  certain root words (particularly in Hebrew, for instance, when the first three letters are the same, you have the same root word) that have suffixes and prefixes attached to them. Each of those letters and the shapes of those letters are fundamental, after all God did not start with Strong's numbers, rather He started with the Hebrew and Greek alphabets, which according to some scholars are the basis for all other languages as well.  


2 Peter 3 has always been an important reminder for Christians all throughout history, but especially in our day as God continues to open up the Scriptures in unparalleled fashion to showcase some of His most precious gems of truth. This can be seen by the occurrence of the following eight terms in these first two verses: “I now write unto you,”  “I stir up,” “your...pure minds,” “remembrance,” “that ye may be mindful,” “of the words,” “which were spoken before,” and “commandments.” This is not accidental or incidental, but God is underscoring a tremendously valuable principle, which the Savior expressed in John 8:31,


“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [meno:G3306] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;”


The only way that the minds of God’s elect can be “stirred up” or brought to “remembrance” is by paying close attention to the Bible itself, because these words, phrases, sentences, and chapters are not only “God-breathed,” - and unlike any other book in existence -  but are spiritually  “alive” because they encapsulate the power of an infinite, Almighty, Triune God. This is why we are not surprised to discover a statement like verse 47 of Deuteronomy 32:45-47, which characterizes God’s Word as “your life”:


“And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel: {46} And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. {47} For it [is] not a vain thing for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.”


Epistle [epistole:G1992]


The word, “epistle” or “letter,” is just that, and we find it employed for instance in these next citations, which again emphasize the tremendous vitality of the Word of God - the very lifeblood of God’s people - as Proverbs 4:18 so beautifully declares:


“But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”


And as I stated earlier, the Light of the Bible is shining its brightest in our day, although paradoxically we are in the darkest “time and season” imaginable, and yet God continues to open up the spiritual treasures of His Word to His beloved sheep, as never before in human history. So if there ever was a time to mine the unspeakable riches of the Bible it would be in our day, because there are undoubtedly many truths that God wants His children to be aware before He ushers in the “New Heavens and New Earth,” at which point we will “...know, even as we are known…”  according to 1 Corinthians 13:12.


This same word, “epistle” is also found in verse 16 of this chapter, in which Peter confirms the writings of Paul, as given under divine inspiration:


“As also in all [his] epistles [epistole:G1992], speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”


2 Thessalonians 2:15 likewise declares:  “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” [epistole:G1992]


Frequently this term, “the traditions,” is employed in a negative fashion, for example when the Lord denounces the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, or lawyers for following the “traditions of men,” instead of the Word of God, but not in this case.


There is also another way that the expression, “epistle”  can be understood, which surfaces in 2 Corinthians 3:2 and 3, in which a dual spiritual picture of “epistle” is being presented: 


Ye are our epistle [epistole:G1992] written in our hearts, known and read of all men:{3} Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle [epistole:G1992] of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”


On the one hand, this is an endearing way of referring to God’s love for His saints - as Paul and the other apostles spiritually represent Christ. The other portrait in view is the spiritual “hearts” or “souls” of those within the Body of Christ are likened to an  “epistle” engraved by the Holy Spirit. This beautiful analogy calls to mind what we read in Ezekiel 36:25-27, during the day of salvation, in which God Himself performs the entire work of salvation from beginning to end in the life of each of His children:


“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. {26} A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. {27} And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”


Beloved [agapetos:G27]


We have encountered the next word, “beloved” before in 2 Peter 1:17, alluding to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is God’s “beloved Son,” as Peter recollects what took place on the Mount of Transfiguration:


“For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved [agapetos:G27] Son, in whom I am well pleased.”


By the same token, each child of God is by extension, God's “beloved,” as 2 Peter 3:1 affirms; additionally this epithet also emerges four other times in 2 Peter 3:8, 14, 15, and 17, respectively, by which God is making a point of emphatically stressing this to His people, as if to say -  “listen up,” “pay attention to this,” and “keep this in mind.” As we make our way through this chapter, we will be examining these key verses in greater detail: 


2 Peter 3:8 reveals: “But, beloved, [agapetos:G27] be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,”


2 Peter 3:14 offers this admonition: Wherefore, beloved, [agapetos:G27] seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”


2 Peter 3:15 adds: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved [agapetos:G27] brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.”


Lastly, 2 Peter 3:17 warns: “Ye therefore, beloved [agapetos:G27] seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”


I [grapho:G1125] Now [ede:G2235] Write [grapho:G1125] Unto You [hymin:G5213]


This is further accentuated by the next phrase, “I now write unto you,which consists of three words that only appear again in verse 8 of 1 John 2:7-11, 


“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. {8} Again, a new commandment I write [grapho:G1125] unto you [hymin:G5213], which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now [ede:G2235] shineth. {9} He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. {10} He that loveth his brother abideth [meno:G3306] in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. {11} But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”


The expression, “abideth” in verse 10 is the identical word, “meno” (G3306) that was noted earlier in John 8:31, as “continue” - “...If ye continue [meno:G3306] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;” Notice too, how God is contrasting the “old commandment” - which is the Word - with the “new commandment” which has to do with “loving one’s brother” - and is related to light. On the contrary, one who hates his brother is in darkness, and has been blinded by that darkness, and as a result, “walks” (or “lives”) in that spiritual darkness, and is incapable of discerning which way to go. This state of spiritual blindness is the lot of the non-elect - exemplified by Cain -  as we learn from 1 John 3:11-12, and is diametrically opposed to  “love” - or “...the message you heard from the beginning...”:


“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. {12} Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” 


This exhortation to “love the brethren” is exceedingly important as we think about the fact that God commands the entire human race to be their “brother’s keeper.” And yet the sad reality is that  mankind by nature does not want to obey that injunction, even as Cain replied to the LORD in Genesis 4:9, “...Am I my brother’s keeper?” This is a direct violation of the second and greatest commandment, as the Lord pointed out in Mark 12:28-31,


 “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? {29} And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: {30} And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment. {31} And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”


Not only are these the two greatest commandments, but they are the very heartbeat of the law of God, as the subsequent passages teach:


Galatians 5:14 acknowledges: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”


And James 2:8 maintains: “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:”


I Stir Up [digeiro:G1326] Your [hymon:G5216] Pure [eilikrines:G1506] Minds [dianoia:G1271]


The next phrase we want to address is “...I stir up your pure minds” which consists of four terms that are only found here, so we will have to  consider them individually.


I Stir Up [digeiro:G1326] & Of Remembrance [hypomnesis:G5280]

  

I mentioned the expressions “I stir up,” and “of remembrance” two Sundays ago when we were reviewing 2 Peter 1, since this word also surfaces in verse 13 of that chapter, as “to stir up” along with “putting [you] in remembrance”: 


“Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir [digeiro:G1326] you up [digeiro:G1326] by putting [you] in remembrance;” [hypomnesis:G5280]


By the way, the expression, “stir up,” is also rendered as “awake” or “arise” and interestingly enough it crops up four times  in the seven times it appears, in the account of Jesus falling asleep in the boat on the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias) during a storm, and was awakened by the disciples’ frantic pleas for help, thinking that somehow He was not in control of the situation, which is utterly ludicrous; yet,  you and I fall into that same trap so easily, when we take our eyes off the Lord. I’ll just read from Mark 4:38-39, in which it is translated as “they awake” and “he arose”: 


“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake [digeiro:G1326]  him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? {39} And he arose [digeiro:G1326], and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”


Of Remembrance [hypomnesis:G5280]


Besides, 2 Peter 1:13 and 2 Peter 3:1 there remains only one other reference that includes this word, “putting [you] in remembrance” or “of remembrance,” and that is found in 2 Timothy 1:5, in which is is rendered as “to remembrance” pertaining to the “faith of Christ,” which God had graciously bestowed upon Timothy, “...at the foundation of the world,” and then as a young boy applied that salvation to his soul, by means of the Scriptures, since “...faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17) during the day of salvation.  We see how significant the godly influence of Timothy’s mother and grandmother was, as God worked through them to instruct him in the Truth:


“When I call to remembrance [hypomnesis:G5280] the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”


Pure [eilikrines:G1506] Minds [dianoia:G1271]


Let’s consider the two terms, “pure” and “minds,” in the phrase in 2 Peter 3:1, “...I stir up your pure minds...” which are only found together in this verse, so we will have to investigate them separately:


Pure [eilikrines:G1506]


This word, “pure” only crops up in one other passage - Philippians 1:10, in which it is rendered as “sincere;” it is a compound term, comprised of the term, “judged” and apparently “a ray of the sun” or “judged by sunlight,” 


“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere [eilikrines:G1506] and without offence till the day of Christ;”


Minds [dianoia:G1271]


The expression, “minds” is also a compound word, consisting of the preposition, “by” or “through” - “dia” (G1223) - and “mind” or “understanding” - “nous” (G3563). Here are some of the ways that God incorporates this term:


We find it in Luke 10:27 as “mind” in the context of the “first and second” commandments: “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind [dianoia:G1271]; and thy neighbour as thyself.”


In Ephesians 1:18 it appears as “understanding”: “The eyes of your understanding [dianoia:G1271] 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,”


Hebrews 8:10 is set in the context of the “latter rain”: “For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind [dianoia:G1271], and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”


To summarize today we touched upon three of the eight phrases in 2 Peter 3:1-2, “I now write unto you,”  “I stir up,” “pure minds,” and “remembrance.” Lord willing, next Sunday we will consider the other four: “that ye may be mindful,” “of the words,” “which were spoken before,” and “commandments.” 





2 Peter 3 - Part 4

September 8, 2019


Welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we begin by asking God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 4, and today’s date is September 8, 2019. Today we want to continue our examination of the first two verses, which I’ll read again:


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:”


Introduction


Last Sunday we considered four out of eight terms found in these two verses: “I now write unto you,”  “I stir up,” “pure minds,” and “remembrance.” Whenever God repeats the same theme eight times, we have to assume that this is very, very important! And what could be more “profitable” than the Scriptures themselves?  2 Timothy 3:16 is a good reminder for all of us to heed:


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


Furthermore, by introducing these eight words at the beginning of this chapter which deals with our current day, God is foreshadowing what is to follow in the rest of the chapter. As I mentioned last Sunday, if there ever was a time to study the Bible it is now - as God continues to open up the treasures of His Word to His people. With that in mind, I would like to read 2 Peter 3 again, so you can see how God is using these eight words or phrases to set up what is to follow which has to do with the following:

  • Scoffers in the “last days.”
  • The denial of  “...the promise of his coming.” 
  • Creation and Noah’s Flood.
  • Our current day of Judgment and the “destruction” of our universe.
  • A 7000 year timetable back to the “seventeenth day of the second month” of Noah’s calendar.
  • God’s “longsuffering” during the 13,023 years of the day of salvation (with the exception that virtually nobody was saved during the 2300 evening/mornings of the first part of the Great Tribulation from 1988 - 1994.) 
  • The importance of our “lifestyle” (“conversation”) and “godliness” during the day of judgment.
  • Looking forward to the “New Heavens” and the “New Earth” “... wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
  • The exhortation to be “...be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
  • The “hard sayings” of Paul’s epistles - which Peter affirms to be inspired - and those who do “violence” to the Word of God, and their fate.
  • The warning of not “...being led away with the error of the wicked…”
  • “Grow in grace and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
  • Last, but certainly not least, the four-fold usage of the term, “beloved” - encompassing the universal scope of the elect - in verses 1, 8, 14, and 17,


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. {5} For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {6} Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: {7} But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. {8} But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. {11} [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, {12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. {15} And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; {16} As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. {17} Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”


Summary From Last Week


I would like to briefly summarize each of the four words or phrases that we discussed last week, to refresh our memories, and for any that might not have heard or read the study.


“I Now Write [grapho:G1125]  Unto You [hymin:G5213]”


In 2 Peter 3 - Part 3 we learned that the first phrase, “I now write unto you” only surfaces again in verse 8 of 1 John 2:7-11, as “I write unto you.” In this passage, Peter, under divine inspiration, is equating “the old commandment” with the Bible itself, and the “new commandment” with love. This portion of Scripture also touches upon “abiding” - or “continuing” (meno:G3306) in the “Light,” which includes the Scriptures and is the result of “loving one’s brother.” During the day of salvation this had to do with giving the Gospel to the nations of the elect; and in our present day of judgment, involves “feeding God’s sheep” with His Word. “Meno” (G3306) is also found in John 8:31, as “continue,” and is one of the greatest admonitions in the entire Bible, and is most applicable today: “...If ye continue [meno:G3306] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;” 


“I Stir Up” [digeiro:G1326] 


The next word we considered is: “I stir up.” When I was reviewing the “tie-ins” between 2 Peter 1 and 2 Peter 3 three weeks ago, we encountered this term, “I stir up” which appears in 2 Peter 1:13. It can also be translated as “awake” or “arose” as we discovered in Mark 4:38-39, when the Lord was asleep in the boat in the midst of a violent storm on the Sea of Tiberias, or Galilee:


“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake [digeiro:G1326] him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? {39} And he arose [digeiro:G1326], and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”


“Pure” [eilikrines:G1506] 


The expression, “pure,” only crops up in one other passage - Philippians 1:10, in which it is rendered as “sincere”: 


“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere [eilikrines:G1506] and without offence till the day of Christ;”


“Minds” [dianoia:G1271]


The term, “minds,” is commonly rendered as “mind” or “understanding,” and it surfaces, for instance, in Hebrews 8:10, which is set in the context of the “latter rain”: 


“For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind [dianoia:G1271], and write [epigrapho:G1924] them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”


In reviewing this I realized that the word, “write” in the phrase “...and write them in their hearts...” is the word “epigrapho”(G1924), consisting of  “epi-” or upon, and the main word, “grapho” (G1125) or “write”  that we noted in the first phrase, “I write [grapho:G1125] unto you” that was mentioned at the onset of our study today. I might add that this expression, “...write them in their hearts” made me recollect that we looked at the word, “epistle” (epistole:G1992) last week in verses 1 and 16 of 2 Peter 3; it also surfaces in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, which is a beautiful analogy of the elect upon whose hearts (or souls) God has engraved His Word upon in salvation:


“Ye are our epistle [epistole:G1992] written [eggrapho:G1449] in our hearts, known and read of all men: {3} [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle [epistole:G1992] of Christ ministered by us, written [eggrapho:G1449] not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”


This stunning portrait of God’s love - “engraved” on the hearts of God’s saints, as it were - is evident in the Old Testament as well in both Isaiah 49:16, and Exodus 28:21 and 29, 


“Behold, I have graven [chaqaq:H2710] thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me.”


“And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, [like] the engravings [pittuwach:H6603] of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes. ... {29} And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy [place], for a memorial before the LORD continually.”

Of Remembrance [hypomnesis:G5280]


That brings us to the last word that we examined last week, “of remembrance.” Besides, 2 Peter 1:13 and 2 Peter 3:1 there is only one other reference that includes this word, “putting [you] in remembrance” or “of remembrance,” and that is found in 2 Timothy 1:5, in which is is rendered as “to remembrance” pertaining to the “faith of Christ,” which God had graciously bestowed upon Timothy, “...at the foundation of the world” and then as a young boy applied that salvation to his soul, by means of the Scriptures, since “...faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17) during the day of salvation.  We see how significant the godly influence of Timothy’s mother and grandmother was, as God worked through them to instruct him in the Truth:


“When I call to remembrance [hypomnesis:G5280] the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”

 

We now want to turn our attention to the last four words that emerge in verse 2: “that ye may be mindful, [mnaomai:G3415]” “of the words [rhema:G4487]” “which were spoken before [prolego:G4280]” and “of the commandments [entole:G1785].” Just as the first four words served to direct our attention to the Word of God, we will see that the goal of these next four is to do the very same thing. I hope you are beginning to sense how vitally critical this truth is to each of the lives of God’s “beloved” and for this reason I like to keep repeating Deuteronomy 32:36-37, because it encapsulates this truth so well:


“And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. {47} For it [is] not a vain thing for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.”


“That Ye May Be Mindful” [mnaomai:G3415]


This first expression, “that ye may be mindful”  is found in 20 other passages, and we will consider just a few of them, in the interest of time.


We have already seen how closely the little book of Jude parallels 2 Peter 2, and in Jude 1:17 we find three of the four words under consideration, and in precisely the same order as in 2 Peter 3:2, “But, beloved, remember [mnaomai:G3415] ye the words [rhema:G4487] which were spoken before [prolego:G4280] of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;”


Luke 24:6 and 8 record what happened as some of the women came early in the  morning with spices to anoint the Lord’s body, and encountered “...two men... in shining garments” who informed them: “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, {8} And they remembered [mnaomai:G3415] his words,”


This is also the case in John 2:17 and 22 which affirm: “And his disciples remembered [mnaomai:G3415] that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. ... {22} When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered [mnaomai:G3415] that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”


John 12:16 likewise aserts: “These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they [mnaomai:G3415] that these things were written of him, and [that] they had done these things unto him.”


“Of The Words” [rhema:G4487]


The next term in 2 Peter 3:2 is “of the words” (G4487), and it is predominantly translated as “word” as the following citations reveal:


Matthew 4:4 acknowledges, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word  [rhema:G4487] that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.


Curiously, Luke 1:37 renders this term as, “nothing”: “For with God nothing  [rhema:G4487] shall be impossible.”


In Luke 18:34 it is translated as “saying,” in which God utilizes three different Greek verbs to underscore that the apostles had no idea of what Jesus was speaking about, even though He was using the clearest language possible: “And they understood none of these things: and this saying  [rhema:G4487] was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”


Lastly John 6:63 boldly announces: “It is the spirit that quickeneth [“makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words  [rhema:G4487] that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.”


We will have to look at the remaining two words next week, Lord willing. Please stay tuned for our hymn sing.

2 Peter 3 - Part 5

September 15, 2019


Welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we begin by asking God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 5, and today’s date is September 15, 2019. Today we want to continue our examination of the first two verses, which I’ll read again:


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,”


Introduction


For the last three weeks, we have been focusing on six out of the eight phrases in these first two verses which showcase how essential it is to keep one’s focus altogether on God’s Word - the Bible. So today, I would like us to consider these last two phrases, before moving on to verse 3. I have pointed out Deuteronomy 32:45-47 before, but I don’t think we can ever be reminded enough of the truth of which characterizes God’s Word as “your life”:


“And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel: {46} And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. {47} For it [is] not a vain thing for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.”


Paul, under divine inspiration, expresses it this way in verse 10 (as well as in verses 13-14) of Philippians 3:8-19, which is a unique passage, preceded by Paul’s spiritual “credentials” if you will, referring to them as “confidence in the flesh,” which he immediately rejects: 


“Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, {9} 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. {15} Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. {16} Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. {17} Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. {18} (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ: {19} Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”


Paul verbalizes what his objectives are in verse 10, and then demonstrates his lifelong pursuit of those same goals in verses 13-14 by “reaching forth” and “pressing toward...those things which are before - emphasizing the direction or course that the child of God is to follow. With that in mind, let’s now consider these last two words in verse 2: “which were spoken before,” and “of the commandment”: 

Which Were Spoken Before [proereo:G4280]


The first one is found in 8 other citations, and we will take a look at some of these. This word is rendered as “say before,” “speak before,” “tell before,” and “foretell” as you will see from these examples. This is one of the wonders of the Word of God, to predict with utmost accuracy what we will happen in the future, which only God could do:


Verse 17 of Jude 1:17-18 which parallels 2 Peter 2 to a very high degree expresses this term as, “were spoken before” referring to “mockers” : “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before [proereo:G4280] of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers [empaiktes:G1703] in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.”


Incidentally, 2 Peter 3:3 translates the identical word, “mockers” as “scoffers.”


Verse 23 of Mark 13:21-23 renders this term as, “I have foretold,” in which the Savior is explaining that the chief characteristic of the Great Tribulation  is unparalleled spirtual deception: “And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here [is] Christ; or, lo, [he is] there; believe [him] not: {22} For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.{23} But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold [proereo:G4280] you all things.”


Romans 9:27-29 is a quotation taken from various excerpts from the book of Isaiah; in verse 29 we find G4280 rendered as, “said before”: “Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: {28} For he will finish the work, and cut [it] short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.{29} And as Esaias said before [proereo:G4280], Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.”


Galatians 1:9 also translates this expression as, “we said before”: “As we said before [proereo:G4280], so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”


In verse 15 of Hebrews 10:12-20, this expression is translated as, “that he had said before”: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; {13} From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. {14} For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.{15} [Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before [proereo:G4280], {16} This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; {17} And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. {18} Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin. {19} Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, {20} By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; ”


Of The Commandment [entole:G1785] 


The last of the eight words or phrases in 2 Peter 3:1-2 is the term, “of the commandment.” The thought occurred to me that these eight words and phrases right at the very beginning of this last chapter in 2 Peter is highly significant. The reason I say that is because this chapter is dealing with our day to a high degree and the ushering in of the “New Heavens” and “New Earth” at the conclusion of this prolonged day of judgment. God is most definitely underscoring the preeminence of His Word more than ever. This is of course why the Savior said in John 8:31, 


“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [meno:G3306] in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;”


It goes without saying that this verse, and especially this expression, “continue” (meno:G3306) is of paramount importance just like Deuteronomy 32:45-47. G3306 is commonly translated as, “abide,” “remain,” “dwell,” “continue,” “tarry,” and “endure.”


The chapter that contains the greatest number of times (12) that this word is repeated in John 15:4-7, 9-11, and 16; I have also included verse 12 because the term, “commandments” appears twice in verse 10 and once in verse 12: Abide [meno:G3306] in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide [meno:G3306] in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide [meno:G3306] in me. {5} I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth [meno:G3306]  in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. {6} If a man abide [meno:G3306]  not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. {7} If ye abide [meno:G3306] in me, and my words abide [meno:G3306]  in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. ... {9} As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye [meno:G3306]  in my love. {10} If ye keep my commandments [entole:G1785], ye shall abide [meno:G3306]  in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments [entole:G1785], and abide [meno:G3306] in his love. {11} These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain [meno:G3306]  in you, and [that] your joy might be full. …{12} This is my commandment [entole:G1785], That ye love one another, as I have loved you... {16} Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain [meno:G3306]: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”


Please note the major emphasis in this chapter that has to do with “abiding” (or “continuing” in “Christ” and in his “love” - both of which are intimately related to “abiding” or “continuing” in His Word.


The chapter with the second greatest number of references (11) is 1 John 2:6, 10, 14, 17, 19, 24, and 27-28; I have also included verses 3-4, and 7-8,  because they include this word, “commandment” (entole:G1785) as well, as God among many other truths, has interwoven these two ideas together in these two chapters: 


“{3} And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. [entole:G1785] {4} He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments [entole:G1785], is a liar, and the truth is not in him...{6} He that saith he abideth [meno:G3306]  in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. {7} Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment [entole:G1785] which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. {8} Again, a new commandment [entole:G1785] I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.... {10} He that loveth his brother abideth [meno:G3306]  in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. ... {14} I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth [meno:G3306]  in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. ... {17} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth [meno:G3306]  for ever. ... {19} They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued [meno:G3306] with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. {24} Let that therefore abide [meno:G3306]  in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain [meno:G3306]  in you, ye also shall continue [meno:G3306]  in the Son, and in the Father. ... {27} But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth [meno:G3306]  in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide [meno:G3306]  in him. {28} And now, little children, abide [meno:G3306] in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”


Now that we have established the main thrust of 2 Peter 3, let’s proceed by examining verse 3, which is the first of 13 topics that are mentioned in 2 Peter 3. It might be helpful to recall them all of them at this point:


  1. Scoffers in the “last days.”
  2. The denial of  “...the promise of his coming.” 
  3. Creation and Noah’s Flood.
  4. Our current day of Judgment and the “destruction” of our universe.
  5. A 7000 year timetable back to the “seventeenth day of the second month” of Noah’s calendar.
  6. God’s “longsuffering” during the 13,023 years of the day of salvation (with the exception that virtually nobody was saved during the 2300 evening/mornings of the first part of the Great Tribulation from 1988 - 1994.) 
  7. The importance of one’s “lifestyle” (“conversation”) and “godliness” during the day of judgment.
  8. Looking forward to the “New Heavens” and the “New Earth” “... wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
  9. The exhortation to be “...be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
  10. The “hard sayings” of Paul’s epistles - which Peter affirms to be inspired - and those who do “violence” to the Word of God, and their fate.
  11. The warning of not “...being led away with the error of the wicked…”
  12. The exhortation to: “Grow in grace and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
  13. Last, but certainly not least, the five-fold usage of the term, “beloved” (agapetos:G27)  - [I said “four” previously, however I forgot about verse 15 in which Peter makes reference to Paul, as a “beloved” brother] - in verses 1, 8, 14, 15 and 17,


Verse 3: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,”


Knowing [ginosko:G1097] This [touto:G5124] First [proton:G4412]


We want to consider this first phrase, “Knowing this first,” which is comprised of three words, which only appear together in one other citation - 2 Peter 1:20 - which was discussed in our investigation of 2 Peter 1, but certainly bears repeating as 2 Peter 1:20-21 also highlights the fact that the Scriptures were the result of God’s will, and thus require God’s interpretation - not man’s - to be properly understood spiritually:


“Knowing [ginosko:G1097] this [touto:G5124] first [proton:G4412], that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [i.e., “one’s own] interpretation. {21} For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.”


The Last [eschatos:G2078] Days [hemera:G2250]


The two Greek words, “the last” and “days” refers to a period of time that encompasses the 1955 years of the church age (May 22, 33 AD - May 21, 1988), the 23-year Great Tribulation (May 21, 1988 - May 21, 2011) and our present, prolonged “day of judgment.” As such, this span of time includes allusions to the church age, salvation, reaching the nations of the elect, the “day of judgment,” the completion of the New Testament, as well as the “unsealing” of  various doctrines (starting with the Great Tribulation and Revelation 5:1-5) that God had not disclosed to His elect in previous “times and seasons.” Additionally, there are various warnings, including what we find here in 2 Peter 3:3 regarding “...scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” The following passages illustrate how God utilizes these two terms:


Verse 1 of 2 Timothy 3:1-7, and 13-17 gives a good overview of the “last days”: “This know also, that in the last [eschatos:G2078] days [hemera:G2250] perilous times shall come. {2} For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, {4} Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; {5} Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. {6] For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, {7} Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. ... {13} But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. {14} But continue [meno:G3306] 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, 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.”


Please note the reference (once again) to the word “continue” in verse 14, and the “purpose” of the Word of God in verses 16-17.


Verse 2 of Hebrews 1:1-3 also references not only the Scriptures but Christ’s atonement “...at the foundation of the world”: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, {2} Hath in these last [eschatos:G2078] days [hemera:G2250]

 spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; {3} Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;


These two words surface in John 6:39-40, 44, 54 and John 11:25 and pinpoint the resurrection of the saved on the very last day of this current “day of judgment,” when God’s elect will receive the final installment, if you will, of their salvation: “And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last [eschatos:G2078] day. [hemera:G2250] {40} And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last [eschatos:G2078] day. [hemera:G2250] ... {44} No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last [eschatos:G2078]  day [hemera:G2250]....{54} Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. …{11:24} Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last [eschatos:G2078]  day.” [hemera:G2250]


One final verse we can look at is in John 12:48, which is a further reminder of the Word of God - except that in this context of the “day of judgment” - it has to do with condemnation: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last [eschatos:G2078]  day.” [hemera:G2250]


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of the rest of verse three, which says: “... scoffers, walking after their own lusts,”




2 Peter 3 - Part 6

September 22, 2019


Welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and let’s begin by asking God’s blessing upon our time together...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 6, and today’s date is September 22, 2019. I’ll read verses 1-7,


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. {5} For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {6} Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: {7} But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”


We are down to verse three, and the last part of that verse which states:


...scoffers, walking after their own lusts,


This statement presents quite an abrupt contrast with the previous eight words and phrases that we have been contemplating about keeping one’s focus exclusively on the Word of God as verses 1-2 acknowledge: 


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:  


Scoffers [empaiktes:G1703]


In a previous study, I mentioned that the term, “scoffers” only surfaces again in Jude 18 as “mockers”:


“How that they told you there should be mockers [empaiktes:G1703]

 in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.”


Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers [empaiktes:G1703], walking after their own lusts, 


By comparing Jude 18 with 2 Peter 3:3, we observe three similarities that they have in common:


  1. The “last time” or “last days.”
  2. The ones  who are classified as “mockers” or “scoffers.”
  3. These “walk” or “live” in pursuit of  their “lusts.”


We get more insight regarding this Greek noun (G1703) which is rendered as either “scoffers” or “mockers” when we look at its root word, which is the compound verb, “empaizo” (G1702), made up of the preposition, “em” (G1722) and “paizo” (G3815). G1702 is found 13 times, and in all but two verses, it refers to Christ being “mocked” in the demonstration of the atonement in 33 AD.  G3815 also provides a link back to the Old Testament since it is only found in verse 7 of 1 Corinthians 10:1-7, which is an extremely serious warning indeed:


“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; {2} And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; {3} And did all eat the same spiritual meat; {4} And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. {5} But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. {6} Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. {7} Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” [paizo:G3815]


Verse 7 is a quotation taken from Exodus 32:6, and “paizo” (G3815) is rendered “to play” in this verse, so we have a “word bridge” between the Old and New Testaments. I’ll read verses 1-8 of Exodus 32, and notice in the historical setting that this occurred in part because Moses, under God’s direction, was “delayed” from coming down from the mountain. Remember he was there 40 days - and the Hebrew word, “40” is a spiritual number that denotes “testing,” in the same way that the “40 years” in the wilderness (which is likened to a “day” in Psalm 95:8-11) was also a time of testing:


“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for [as for] this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. {2} And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which [are] in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] unto me. {3} And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron. {4} And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. {5} And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD. {6} And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. [tsachaq:H6711] {7} And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted [themselves]: {8} They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”


This Hebrew word, “tsachaq” (H6711) is curiously found 13 times (as its Greek equivalent), and is translated primarily as “laugh” or “mock.” The following references illustrate how God employs this expression:


Genesis 19:14 records Lot’s attempt to warn His sons-in-law and daughters of the impending judgment; this word is rendered here as, “But he seemed as one that mocked”: “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked [tsachaq:H6711] unto his sons in law.”


Genesis 21:9 renders this as, “mocking,” with respect to Ishmael: “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.” [tsachaq:H6711] 


In Judges 16:25 Samson -  exemplifying the Lord Jesus -  is mocked, in which this word is translated as “sport”: “And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport [tsachaq:H6711]: and they set him between the pillars.” 


Walking [poreuo:G4198] After [kata:G2596] Their [autos:G846] Own [idios:G2398] Lusts [epithymia:G1939]


In verse 3 we learn that besides “scoffing” or “mocking” these individuals “...walk[ing] after their own lusts.” The three Greek words rendered as “their own lusts” appear in John 8:44 which declares both the nature of Satan, as well as all the non-elect who remain captive in his kingdom:


“Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts [epithymia:G1939]

 of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. [autos:G846] When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own [idios:G2398]: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” [autos:G846] 


Walking [poreuo:G4198] & Lusts [epithymia:G1939]


The two words, “walking” and “lusts” also appear together in the following three citations, besides here in 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 18:


In 1 Peter 4:3, it is rendered as “when we walked” and “lusts,” characterizing the lifestyle of God’s elect prior to God applying the faith of Christ to their lives: “For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked [poreuo:G4198] in lasciviousness, lusts [epithymia:G1939], excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:”


2 Peter 2:10 translates these two expressions as, “them that walk,” and “the lust,” regarding both “false teachers” as well as those that follow them: “But chiefly them that walk [poreuo:G4198] after the flesh in the lust [epithymia:G1939] of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”


The last passage is also in Jude, and is expressed as “walking” and “lusts” in verse 16: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking [poreuo:G4198] after their own lusts [epithymia:G1939]; and their mouth [stoma:G4750] speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.”


Notice the emphasis in Jude 16 with respect to what comes out of their mouth” in contrast to the “mouth of God,” which is all the Truth of Scripture, as the subsequent verses testify:


Matthew 4:4 announces: “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth [stoma:G4750] of God.”


Luke 1:70 is an exceptional verse because it insists that all the human writers of the Bible spoke with one “mouth,” as God moved them to write only what He wanted: “As he spake by the mouth [stoma:G4750]  of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:”


Verse 45 of Luke 6:43-46 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. {44} For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.{45} A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth [stoma:G4750] speaketh. {46} And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” 


As you can see this word, “mouth” is extremely significant, as it is one link in the chain of events that begins in the mind or “heart” of an individual, travels to the “mouth,” and eventually is “fleshed out” in the lifestyle of the person, whether they are an elect or non-elect, and is inextricably tied to “obedience” (which is the essence of “love”), and highlighted by the Master’s penetrating question in Luke 6:46, 


And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” 


I also would also like to mention that this term, “mouth” (stoma:G4750) is noteworthy not only because God created our mouths, throats, palate, and teeth, which He endowed us with, in order to learn language and to communicate with others. Incidentally, our English word alphabet is derived from the first two letters of both the Hebrew (aleph/bet) as well as the Greek (alpha/beta) alphabets. Moreover the root word for “mouth” in Greek (stoma:G4750) is most interesting as it is apparently found in one of the most significant verses in all the Bible - Hebrews 4:12,


“For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper [tomos:G5114] than any twoedged [distomos:G1366] 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.”


Which word do you think is the root word for “mouth”? 


It’s the term, “sharper,” or “tomos.” (G5114) Additionally, please note the word, “twoedged,” which is “dis-tomos” (G1366) in Greek. “Dis” is the word, “twice” (as in “twice dead” denoting the extent of the spiritual deadness of the non-elect in Jude 12)“Tomos,” on the other hand has to with “cutting” or “slicing.” And we know that the reason the Word of God is a “twoedged” or “double-sided” Sword of the Spirit is because each razor sharp edge was designed to perform one of two critical functions during the day of salvation, as God wielded that Sword, according to His Holy will: 


  1. To “cut” to eternal life.
  2. To “cut” to death and annihilation.


Both “sides” of the Word of God can be seen “in action” in both Acts 2:37 on the Day of Pentecost, as well as in Acts 7:54, as the leaders of the Sanhedrin reacted violently to Stephen’s testimony, under divine inspiration. In spite of the fact that God has chosen to employ different Greek words in each of these passages, the thrust is the same - namely they are both being “cut to the heart” by the “twoedged” Sword of the Spirit:


Acts 2:37 reveals: “Now when they heard [this], they were pricked [katanyssomai:G2669 - the main word is “pierced” - only used when the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear - hardly a “prick”!] in their heart [kardia:G2588], and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do?”


Acts 7:54 records: “When they heard these things, they were cut [diaprio:G1282 - the main word is “sawn asunder” - only found in Hebrews 11:37] to the heart [kardia:G2588], and they gnashed on him with [their] teeth.”


Let’s proceed to verse 4, and the important statement that God highlights - among many other lies - which “scoffers” believe and promote: 


Verse 4: And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.


Where [pou:G4226] Is [esti:G2076] The Promise [epaggelia:G1860] Of His [autos:G846] Coming? [parousia:G3952]


We have already considered the word, “coming” when we were discussing it in some detail in 2 Peter 1 - Parts 24 and 25, so I won’t be going over that material again. Keep in mind that this question, “Where is the promise of his coming?”  arises out of the minds of “scoffers,” and they base their reasoning upon a faulty premise which is verbalized in the second half of this verse: “...for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.”


The Promise [epaggelia:G1860] 


The next expression that we want to consider is this word, “promise,” (epaggelia:G1860) which is always translated as such, with the exception of 1 John 1:5, in which it is rendered as “message”:


“This then is the message [epaggelia:G1860] which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

Spiritually speaking, the “promise” has everything to do with “eternal life,” as 1 John 2:25 substantiates:


“And this is the promise [epaggelia:G1860]  that he hath promised [epaggelomai:G1861] us, [even] eternal life.”


G1860 is a noun, and stems from the verb form, “epaggelomai” (G1861), which is a verb. Both forms emerge in 1 John 2:25, as “the promise” and “he hath promised.”


I think we’ll stop here for today, and Lord willing, next Sunday, I would like to take an in-depth look at this word “promise” which has everything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ.







2 Peter 3 - Part 7

September 29, 2019


Welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we go to the Lord in prayer...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 7, and today’s date is September 29, 2019. I’ll read verses 1-7,


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. {5} For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {6} Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: {7} But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”


Correction


I want to correct something I said (and wrote) last week regarding the root word for “scoffers,” which is the verb, “empaizo” (G1702). “Empaizo”  is made up of the preposition, “em” (G1722), and the main word, “paizo” (G3815). I mistakenly said that G3815 appeared in 13 passages; it is in fact, G1702 that is found in 13 verses. “Paizo” (G3815) is only found in 1 Corinthians 10:7, and is a quotation taken from Exodus 32:6. I have corrected the transcript, and posted that in BMI’s Facebook group. 


Today we want to examine the two words that God is specifically linking in verse 4 - “the promise” and “of his coming”  - which we will have to consider separately, since they only emerge together here in 2 Peter 3:4. 


I mentioned  at the close of our last study  that I wanted to take an in-depth look at this word “promise” (G1860) which has everything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ, and is always translated as, “promise,”  with the exception of 1 John 1:5, in which it is rendered as “message”:


“This then is the message [epaggelia:G1860] which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”


The “promise” has everything to do with “eternal life,” as 1 John 2:25 substantiates:


“And this is the promise [epaggelia:G1860]  that he hath promised [epaggelomai:G1861] us, [even] eternal life.”

 

G1860 is a noun, and stems from the verb form, “epaggelomai” (G1861), which is a verb, and is translated as “he hath promised” in 1 John 2:25, which contains both of these expressions. We also find this word again in 2 Peter 3:9, which highlights God’s “longsuffering” during the day of salvation, which we will investigate further, once we get there, Lord willing.


“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise [epaggelia:G1860], as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”


By the way, this is also stated - albeit differently - in James 5:7-8, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming [parousia:G3952]

 of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman [i.e., God] waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. {8} Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming [parousia:G3952] of the Lord draweth nigh.”


We discovered that the “promise” in 1 John 2:25 has to with “eternal life.” “Eternal Life” is not only a major thread that is woven throughout the tapestry of Scripture, but is also one of God’s Holy characteristics, and part of the glorious inheritance that all of God’s saints can look forward to in the “New Heavens” and the “New Earth.” 


The chapter that contains the most references of this word, “promise” is in Hebrews 11(verses 9, 13, 17, 33, and 39) - the chapter on the “heroes” of “Faith,Who is the Lord Jesus Christ:


“By faith he [Abraham] sojourned in the land of promise [epaggelia:G1860], as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise [epaggelia:G1860]: ... {13} These all died in faith, not having received the promises [epaggelia:G1860], but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. ... {17} By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises [epaggelia:G1860] offered up his only begotten [son], ... {33} Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises [epaggelia:G1860], stopped the mouths of lions, ... {39} And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:” [epaggelia:G1860]


Please note in verse 13 the sequence of verbs with respect to the spiritual mindset and lifestyle of the patriarchs in terms of the “promises” of God “...having seen them afar off... were persuaded of them ...embraced them...confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  If this was their attitude and conduct many thousands of years ago, what should ours be, as we are extremely close to experiencing these things firsthand?


Let’s now consider the expression, “of his coming”: 


Of His Coming [parousia:G3952]


This term is so relevant to us today, as God’s children await with eager anticipation the final “installment,” if you will, of their salvation. And because we are presently living in the last “time and season” of God’s program for the human race, many of us, who are “alive and remaining,” will witness this unparalleled event, in which God will - one final time -  break the barrier of the supernatural.  This current day of judgment will conclude with this occurrence that will eventuate in the destruction of our universe, and usher in the “New Heavens” and the “New Earth,” as we read in Revelation 21:1-5,


“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. {2} And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. {3} And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. {4} And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. {5} And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” 


We find many spiritual similarities to Revelation 21:1-5 in Isaiah 65:17-25, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. {18} But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. {19} And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. {20} There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed. {21} And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. {22} They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. {23} They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. {24} And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. {25} The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”


The Greek word, “parousia,” (G3952) is also found in 2 Peter 3:12, which we will have the opportunity to investigate further, once we get there, Lord permitting:


“Looking for and hasting unto the coming [parousia:G3952] of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”


We’re also not surprised to find this word, “coming” (G3952) four times in Matthew 24  (verses 3, 27, 37, and 39), which is a chapter concerning the Great Tribulation and the day of judgment: 


“{3} And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming [parousia:G3952], and of the end of the world? ... {27} For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming [parousia:G3952]  of the Son of man be. ... {37} But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming [parousia:G3952]  of the Son of man be. ... {39} And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming [parousia:G3952]  of the Son of man be.”


Our word, “coming” also emerges in verse 23 of  1 Corinthians 15:19-26, which lays out what will take place on that very last day of our present day of judgment: 


“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. {20} But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept. {21} For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. {23} But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. [parousia:G3952]  {24} Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. {25} For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. {26} The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.”


Notice in verse 20 the reference to Christ being the “first” to rise from the dead, which could only have taken place “...at the foundation of the world,” as we discussed at length in BMI’s Bible study series on The Lamb Slain From The Foundation Of The World.


Verse 15 of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 adopts this term, and likewise reveals the sequence of events on that awesome day: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. {14} For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. {15} For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming [parousia:G3952] of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. {16} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. {18} Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”


Please note the wonderful encouragement in verse 18. A few weeks ago during BMI’s Q & A segment, I received a question regarding which Scriptures to read for “comfort.” This chapter would be a wonderful illustration of that blessed hope that awaits the child of God, who will be forever in the presence of the LORD, worshipping and serving Him throughout all of eternity. When our my minds are focused on “things above,” everything else in this life - which is indeed “a vale of tears” - pales in comparison, as the refrain from the hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus maintains:


Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace


Another chapter that deals with “the promise of his coming” is is 2 Thessalonians 2, in which this expression, “coming” is utilized in verses 1, and 8-9: 


“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming [parousia:G3952] of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, ... {8} And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [parousia:G3952]: {9} [Even him], whose coming [parousia:G3952] is after [“against”] the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


2 Thessalonians 2 ends with a beautiful benediction of comfort and hope, along with the admonition to “...stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught…” in the Word of God, in verses 15-17:


“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. {16} Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given [us] everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, {17} Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”


We find similar exhortations in three other references that all contain this same word, “coming” or “parousia” (G3952), and all in 1 Thessalonians -  in chapters 2, 3, and 5:


1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 offers this reflection: “For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming [parousia:G3952]? {20} For ye are our glory and joy.”


And 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 presents a similar encouragement: “Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. {12} And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all [men], even as we [do] toward you: {13} To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming [parousia:G3952] of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” 


Verse 23 of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 incorporates this word, “the coming” in this benediction, after presenting a series of eight “rapid-fire” reminders that assist each of God’s saints to keep one’s focus on “things above”: “Rejoice evermore. {17} Pray without ceasing. {18} In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. {19} Quench not the Spirit. {20} Despise not prophesyings. {21} Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. {22} Abstain from all appearance of evil. {23} And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming [parousia:G3952]  of our Lord Jesus Christ. {24} Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it].”


On that wonderful note, we will have to end today’s study, and Lord willing, continue our investigation of the rest of verse 4 next Sunday, “... for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.”




2 Peter 3 - Part 8

October 6, 2019


Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we go to the Lord in prayer...  This will be 2 Peter 3 - Part 8, and today’s date is October 6, 2019. I’ll read verses 1-7,


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: {3} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. {5} For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {6} Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: {7} But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”


In our previous study we left off at the last part of verse 4: “... for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation…” which was both the response and mindset of the scoffers who ridicule “the promise of his coming.” So here we have puny man - a very finite creature, with limited understanding, who is both a liar and wicked by nature as well as by practice - pitting himself against the Promise of The Word of the Almighty Triune God, Whose Word has never, ever failed in the slightest, as we read in these next Scriptures:


God reminds Moses of both His infinite power and integrity in Numbers 11:23, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD'S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”


Ezekiel 12:25 also affirms: “For I [am] the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.”


At the conclusion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple in I Kings 8:56, he makes this glorious declaration, under divine inspiration: “Blessed [be] the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.”


Isaiah 48:3 likewise asserts: “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did [them] suddenly, and they came to pass.”


Similarly, Isaiah 55:11 echoes this same truth: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.”


Unsaved man wrongly assumes that God is just like he is, which is a grave mistake. Psalm 50:16-22 captures the essence of man by nature:


“But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or [that] thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? {17} Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. {18} When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. {19} Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. {20} Thou sittest [and] speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. {21} These [things] hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself: [but] I will reprove thee, and set [them] in order before thine eyes. {22} Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear [you] in pieces, and [there be] none to deliver.”


Two other references are worthy of mention regarding the impeccable Character and Holiness of “The King of Kings and LORD of LORDS”:


Numbers 23:19 announces: “God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?


And 1 Samuel 15:29 similarly proclaims: “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent.”


The Lie That Is Being Offered By Unregenerate Man


What is the lie that is being promoted and accepted by the vast majority of  unregenerate mankind with respect to 2 Peter 3:4? 


“...all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.” 


Let’s consider the phrases in this sentence for the time being, and then we’ll come back to the phrase preceding it, “...for since the fathers fell asleep…” [or “died’]


All Things [pas:G3956] 


The term, “all things” in this context, can be understood as everything that God created, as these next passages maintain; the reason for this is because the “scoffers” maintain that everything that we see has existed for 13.8 billion years, as they confidently assert, (according to some internet sites), without any supernatural intervention from God.


Titus 1:15 is an apt description of these individuals: “Unto the pure all things [pas:G3956] [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.


These next passages include, among other spiritual realities, the physical creation:


Colossians 1:16  teaches: “For by him were all things [pas:G3956] 

 created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things [pas:G3956] were created by him, and for him:”


Romans 11:36 makes a similar declaration: “For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things [pas:G3956]: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.”


Hebrews 3:4 puts it this way, in which this expression is used twice: “For every [pas:G3956] house is builded by some [man]; but he that built all things [pas:G3956] [is] God.”


Some Other Ways That God Employs This Term, “All Things” [pas:G3956] Spiritually


It’s important to recognize that this word, “all things” can also be understood spiritually in a variety of ways, as the subsequent citations illustrate: 


1 Peter 4:7 presents this serious admonition, and emphasizes both an attitude of solemnity as well as prayerfulness: “But the end of all things [pas:G3956] is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”


Mark 4:34 utilizes this word to express the manner in which God wrote the Bible, and the way it is to be understood parabolically, as the Holy Spirit instructs the child of God by comparing “spiritual things with spiritual”: “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things [pas:G3956] to his disciples.”


Mark 13:23 underscores one of the reasons why the Bible could only have been written by the Infinite Mind of God: “But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.” [pas:G3956] 


Luke 24:25, 27 and 44-45 highlight the paramount focus of the Word of God, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fulfillment of all Scripture, which points to Him exclusively; this expression is rendered as “all” in verses 25 and 27, and “all things” in verse 44 - which relate specifically to the Words of the Bible: “ Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all [pas:G3956] that the prophets have spoken: ... {27} And beginning at Moses and all [pas:G3956]  the prophets, he expounded unto them in all [pas:G3956]  the scriptures the things concerning himself. ... {44} And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things [pas:G3956]  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,”


John 14:26 and verse 15 of John 16:12-15 also emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit in teaching God’s elect, once again, by the God-given methodology of “comparing spiritual with spiritual”: “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things [pas:G3956], and bring all things [pas:G3956] to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you…{16:12} I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. {13} Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. {14} He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. {15} All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.


Did you happen to notice what we read in John 14 and 16 correlates with the eight words and phrases found in 2 Peter 3:1-2?


“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: {2} That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:”


Lastly, John 15:15 is an exceptional verse that reminds us that it is the Lord’s express will to reveal truth to His saints, in accordance with the particular “time and season” for doing so, and according to God’s own “good pleasure” for the edification of His people, who in turn, can share that same information with others: “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant 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.”


Do you remember how Jesus gave the “bread” and “fish” to His disciples first, and they, in turn, passed it out to the others? 


Let’s go to Matthew 14:17-21 as this ties in to the same idea of sharing truth with others:


“And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18  He said, Bring them hither to me. {19} And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to [his] disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. {20} And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. {21} And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”


This is certainly applicable to God’s elect today - even as it was during the day of salvation -  as we desire to heed God’s commission in the day of judgment to “feed My sheep” with the Truth of the Word of God.


Continue [(houtos:G3779) (diameno:G1265)]


Let’s now turn our attention to the term, “continue,” in the phrase which the “scoffers” insist upon in 2 Peter 3:4, which I’ll re-state again:


“...Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things [pas:G3956] continue [(houtos:G3779) (diameno:G1265)] as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.”


This word, “continue” is actually made up of two words, “houtos” (G3779) and “diameno” (G1265) “Houtos” is an adverb (G3779) signifying, “so,” “thus,” or “in this manner;” “diameno” is the term “remain” or “continue,” so we can understand this to signify, “continue thus” or “continue in this manner.” 


“Diameno” (G1265) only surfaces in these next four citations:


Luke 1:22 records this with regard to John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias; this word is translated as “remained”: “And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained [diameno:G1265] speechless.:”


Luke 22:28 renders it as, “they which have continued”: “Ye are they which have continued [diameno:G1265] with me in my temptations.”


And in Galatians 2:5 it is translated as “might continue”: “To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue [diameno:G1265] with you.”


The last entry is verse 11 of Hebrews 1:10-12, which expresses this term as “remainest,” referring to God the Son: “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:{11} They shall perish; but thou remainest; [diameno:G1265] and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”


As They Were [apo:G575] From The Beginning [arche:G746] Of The Creation [ktisis:G2937]


The next phrase that we want to examine, “...as they were from the beginning of creation” consists of three words, which only emerge together in two other significant citations in the book of Mark, pertaining to marriage, the Great Tribulation, and in our passage, the lie that these “scoffers” have swallowed, “hook, line, and sinker,” which they, in turn,  promote as widely as possible:


Mark 10:6 acknowledges: But from [apo:G575] the beginning [arche:G746] of the creation [ktisis:G2937] God made them male and female.”


Mark 13:19, “For [in] those days shall be affliction, such as was not from [apo:G575]  the beginning [arche:G746] of the creation [ktisis:G2937]  which God created unto this time, neither shall be.”


For Since The Fathers [pater:G3962] Fell Asleep [koimao:G2837]


Before proceeding on to verse 5, I said that we would look at the phrase, “...for since the fathers fell asleep” in which the two words, “the fathers” and “fell asleep” only emerge in verse 36 of Acts 13:32-37, which is a discussion of the fact that Christ’s body did not decay in 33 AD in the “demonstration,” since He was not atoning for sin at that time, as He was “...at the foundation of the world,” when He did experience corruption and annihilation. This can be proven by the two statements in verses 33 and 34, namely that Christ is the “first begotten” 

(or “firstborn”) from the dead - “...this day have I begotten thee…” and “...now no more to return to corruption…,” - a reference to the fact that He did experience corruption “...at the foundation of the world,” as was discussed at some length in BMI’s Bible Study series on The Lamb Slain From The Foundation Of The World:


“And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, {33} God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. {34} And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, [now] no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. {35} Wherefore he saith also in another [psalm], Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. {36} For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep [koimao:G2837], and was laid unto his fathers [pater:G3962], and saw corruption: {37} But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.”


Alright, let’s proceed on to verse 5:


Verse 5: “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:”


We can start by looking at the two expressions individually: “willingly,” and “are ignorant of.”  


Willingly [thelo:G2309]


G2309 is generally rendered as “will,” “would,” or “would have.” Apparently this word, “willingly,” is related to the term, “haireo” (G138), which I am not able to verify at this point, but there is a great deal of similarity, as G138 is always translated as some form of the word, “choose,” and only appears in three references; “choosing” would of course imply exerting one’s will - whether we are speaking of the “will” of a genuine believer, or of someone who is not a child of God: 


Verse 22 of Philippians 1:20-24 maintains, “According to my earnest expectation and [my] hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but [that] with all boldness, as always, [so] now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether [it be] by life, or by death. {21} For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. {22} But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose [haireo:G138] I wot not. {23} For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: {24} Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you.”


In 2 Thessalonians 2:13, this word is translated as “hath chosen”: “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath [haireo:G138] from the beginning chosen [haireo:G138] you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”


Hebrews 11:25 renders this word as, “choosing”: Choosing [haireo:G138] rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”


So, in conclusion we note that these “scoffers” insist that our world and universe “remain” or “continue” as always without any intervention from God, which is absolutely contrary to all that the Bible teaches; the Bible is replete with examples of this from Noah’s flood to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to the parting of the Red Sea, etc., etc. Lord willing, in our next study we will consider the word, “...are ignorant of,” which is primarily rendered as “hid” or “hidden,” along with the rest of verse 5.