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Category Archives: Epistles of Peter

The Powers of Heaven in Conflict

Fire of God

from Google Images

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 »

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Apocalyptic Language

Apocalyptic language

from Google Images

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 »

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Looking for the Day of the Lord!

Day of the Lord

from Google Images

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?

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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Error of Scoffers

Ignorance

from Google Images

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 »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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A Scoffer’s Myth

Scoffers

from Google Images

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 »

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Last Days

Last Days - 1

from Google Images

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 »

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

The Spies of the First Century AD

Spies - 2

from Google Images

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 »

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Way of Balaam

False Teachers - 6

from Google Images

Jude spoke of the error of Balaam (Jude 1:11), which was that one could manipulate God into cursing those he has blessed. Revelation tells us about the doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14), which concerned getting Israel to worship Baal of Peor instead of or as though he were the God of Israel. However, Peter’s epistle concerns itself with the way of Balaam or the **method** he used to deceive Israel into doing what he wanted done. In 2Kings 18:18-21 Elijah, the prophet, confronted King Ahab of Israel who had sent out the prophets (teachers) of Baal into all the tribes of Israel. In doing so, he was able to corrupt Israel and draw them away from the God of Israel. This is what Balaam did by telling Balak to send women (prophetesses) into the camps of Israel to deceive them into following after the ways of Baal, rather than the ways of God. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Sins of the False Teachers

Access Denied

from Google Images

There seems to be some misunderstanding about Peter’s second epistle, as it pertains to the false teachers, whom he describes in his second chapter. Most commentaries I’ve read believe they were licentious men who taught believers to commit open adultery and the like. However, I don’t believe this is true, either contextually (why would a believer be tempted to do such a thing, believing he honored God), or when one compares Peter with Paul. If the destructive heresies were to be brought into the believing community privately (2Peter 2:1), I don’t see how this could be done by men who were openly sexually immoral. Their immorality had to have been spiritual, and the fact that they were secretly coming against the Bride of Christ was spiritual adultery (cf. Romans 3:5-8). If the accusation against the apostles and Messianic believers was that they claimed doing evil brought good, it stands to reason that the false teachers didn’t believe it was appropriate to openly live in wicked manner. Therefore, they wouldn’t seek to tempt believers to commit open adultery. Something else is in view rather than open sexual immorality. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Speaking of Evil of Angels

False Teachers

from Google Images

Some interpret 2Peter 2:11 as though Peter were speaking of angelic beings. However, if one understood Peter referring to angelic beings, of what good would that serve? If an angel was slandered, what has that to do with the Gospel? It seems to me such an understanding is high sounding, but it has little value, as it pertains to how one should walk with Christ in this world. As I’ve said elsewhere, the Greek word anggelos (G32) can refer to either an angelic being or a human messenger. It can even refer to a physical annoyance (2Corinthians 12:7) that serves to recall something in the past or remind us of something that would come later. To simply say 2Peter 2:11 refers to angelic beings, I believe goes beyond the context of Peter’s epistle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The False Teachers

False Teachers - 2

from Google Images

God knows very well how to rescue the godly out of trouble, while still reserving the wicked for judgment. Both Noah and Lot were counted righteous by God (Genesis 6:9; 2Peter 2:7). However, at least in the case of Lot, the righteous had to be literally pushed by the angels before they would leave their wicked environment (Genesis 19:16). On the other hand, Zacharias and Elizabeth, who were also considered righteous (dikaioi – Luke 1:6), praised God for what he was doing in their lives (Luke 1:68). The righteousness of Lot is seen in the fact that both he and Noah stood alone in their respective wicked environments. God is just, and it is not his intention to destroy the righteous with the ungodly. Therefore, the believers in Asia Minor could take heart and be encouraged through Peter’s epistle (2Peter 2:9). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah

Judgment of Sodom

from Google Images

To show the nature of God’s judgment upon the false teachers of the second chapter of his second epistle, Peter pointed to three examples of God’s judgment upon mankind. His first example of God’s judgment, which fell upon the angels or messengers (patriarchs) of God, pointed to Satan (through the leaders into whose hands he vested his authority – see Revelation 13:2). Peter’s second example of God’s judgment was the Noahic Flood, which points to the world. In his final example of God’s judgment Peter mentioned Sodom and Gomorrah which cities God destroyed because of their extreme wickedness, and this judgment corresponds to the flesh (cf. Jude 1:7). It is this third judgment that will be the subject of this blogpost. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The World of the Ungodly

Genesis 6

from Google Images

In 2Peter 2:4-9 Peter wrote of three examples of God’s judgment in the book of Genesis, which he likened to the judgment God would bring upon the false teachers and those who trusted in them in the first century AD. In a previous blogpost I discussed the first example, the angels (2Peter 2:4), saying they were not spirit beings, but men. They were messengers, whom God intended to lead the world in the antediluvian period and teach the people about God. Nevertheless, most of them seemed to have rebelled, so God darkened their minds (cf. Romans 1:21), which is the sense of the Greek word tartarus (G5020). This darkening of the mind keeps one from seeing his tragic fate brought on by his sins. The only remedy for this darkness is to repent and come into the council of God—submitting to the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Angels Who Sinned

Angels who sinned - 2

from Google Images

After mentioning false teachers would arise within the church and bring in destructive heresies, Peter connects their work with that of the false prophets of the Old Testament. Those spiritual leaders brought upon themselves and the Jewish nation the judgment of God that culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Likewise, a similar judgment would be incurred by the false teachers who troubled the believers in the five Roman provinces of Asia Minor in the first century AD. In the next few verses (2Peter 2:4-9) Peter points to three examples of God’s judgment that was imposed upon those who sinned in a similar fashion, as was then occurring in the churches of God in Asia Minor. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Folks Tend to Believe False Teachers

False Teachers - 1

from Google Images

In the second chapter of his second epistle Peter began to tell of the prophesied false teachers. Like the false prophets of the Old Testament, they took their place in the assembly of God claiming to represent him, but, instead, they preached the dreams and desires of men. The prophets of old prophesied peace when they should have sounded out an alarm. They claimed to speak for the Lord, but they spoke out of the imagination of their own hearts (Jeremiah 23:15-16). Had they stood in the council of the Lord, pondering his word, they would have been equipped to turn God’s people from evil (Jeremiah 23:21-22). Rather, they invented stories, claiming disaster wouldn’t come (Jeremiah 23:25-27) and the people hardened their hearts and continued in their evil ways. Similarly, Peter warned of teachers of his own day who sought to turn the hearts and minds of believers away from the Lord, changing Scripture into something God never intended to say. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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