Jesus said he didn’t come to send peace upon the earth, but, rather, a sword (Matthew 10:34). In Luke Jesus says he came to send a fire upon the earth (Luke 12:49), something to which Peter refers in 2Peter 3:7, 12. He says the heavens will pass away with a great noise (2Peter 3:10), but what does that mean? Paul, speaking of the same time, says this would be the time of the dead rising (1Thessalonians 4:16; cf. Matthew 27:52-53). Both Peter and Paul speak of a time of great spiritual conflict, a time of judgment upon the wicked and a time of raising the dead. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Epistles of Peter
Probably some of the greatest errors in Biblical understanding occur because folks take literally what should be understood spiritually. Jesus told those to whom he preached that they erred because they didn’t take into consideration that the words he spoke were spiritual (John 6:61-63), and they kept trying to make sense of them literally (John 6:60). We can avoid this type of misunderstanding, if we use the word of God to interpret itself for us, by comparing one part of Scripture with another part (1Corinthians 2:13). Read the rest of this entry »
Most folks, today, who believe the Bible look for the Day of the Lord to arrive soon, but given the geocentric information offered in the New Testament, what would such an event look like today? What do the Scriptures say about this day, and should we understand them literally or is there another way to see them that fulfills what we are told, but doesn’t destroy everything God created? Peter writes about the “world that then was” as he speaks of the judgment of the Flood, implying that ‘the heavens and earth’ existing in Peter’s day were different from what we would have found before the Flood. Yet, not only did Noah’s ‘heavens and earth’ pass away to make room for that which Peter knew, but Peter tells us to look for yet ‘newer heavens and a newer earth,’ different from what existed in his day. In other words, the scriptures speak at least twice of God making new heavens and a new earth, the final one coming with the Day of the Lord in which Christ would come. What does all this mean, and can we know?
Many modern critics of the Bible have a vested interest in the idea that Jesus (if they even admit that he ever existed) is both dead and buried somewhere near Jerusalem. It wasn’t really that much different in the first century AD. The idea of anyone rising from the dead was completely foreign to what people might think about a hero or an enemy. Such a thing had no place in the worldview of Hellenistic society or any other ancient culture, despite what some folks like to say today. Peter claimed in 2Peter 3:5 that the scoffers of that day were willingly ignorant or forgetful. The reason being, they have a vested interest in the idea that Jesus must be dead and could not be the Messiah (cf. Mark 12:6-7). Dead men don’t live again, or so they wished it were true (2Peter 2:1-3; 3:5). What they desired to be so ruled their reasoning of what should be true, so their foolish hearts were darkened (2Peter 2:4; Romans 1:21). Read the rest of this entry »
Peter spoke of the myths of the false teacher (2Peter 1:16) or scoffers (cf. 2Peter 3:1-3). It may surprise some believers that some of these myths that were used by the Biblical critics of the first century AD have been preserved in the New Testament. One is quite obvious and is found in Luke 20:27-33 where the Sadducees sought to test Jesus in an effort to refute the doctrine of the resurrection. These men were scoffers or Biblical critics, the forerunners of our modern critics who labor to show the untrustworthiness of Scripture by pointing to seemingly unreasonable sayings or contradictions in the text. Nevertheless, just as the Lord used Scripture to show the error of the Sadducees, we can do the same today, if we trust God to help us understand what the Scriptures say. Another, not so obvious myth is found in Luke 16. Read the rest of this entry »
We often hear televangelists speaking of the last days, saying that they are near or that we may even be living in them today, adding that Jesus is about to return from heaven to take away his elect. Dates of Jesus’ coming have been set by many, even in our own time. Sadly, no one seems to mind that these men have been wrong, and the Bible refers to such as false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:20, 22). Many such prophets and teachers were predicted in the New Testament to come in the name of Christ, and their work would be fashioned to deceive believers (cf. Matthew 24: 5, 11, 24). Jesus spoke of these times as unequaled in history for violence (Matthew 24:21), and Paul spoke of them as perilous times (2Timothy 3:1). What can we say of such things? Are we living in the last days, or, if not, are they near? Peter has quite a lot to say about such things in the third chapter of his second epistle. Read the rest of this entry »
It is inferred by Luke that Annas, the high priest, had sent Ananias and Sapphira into the nascent church (cf. Acts 5:1-13) in order to spy out what was done and bring believers under the authority of the high priest. The same is inferred in Galatians 2:12-13, once one realizes that James didn’t send these people to do what they had done (cf. Galatians 2:4). From time to time Paul had to rebuke a wrong spirit of prophecy or a message or letter that was allegedly from him or one of the other apostles (2Thessalonians 2:2), inferring that others were seeking to gain a foothold in the churches he raised up. Moreover, John also shows there were people who had identified themselves with the apostles but broke away, showing ulterior motives existed among those who did so. Read the rest of this entry »