Book of Second Peter
This epistle from Peter addresses the believer’s conflict in the latter days. The primary purpose of 2 Peter is to call Christians to spiritual growth and faithfulness as they watch for the Second Coming of Christ. Peter cautioned against false teachers in the Church and exposed their evil characteristics (chap. 2). Foremost, he encouraged his readers with the certainty of the return of Christ (3:1-16).
Peter wrote this epistle shortly before he was to be crucified upside down, and he alludes to it (1:13-15). He also describes the characteristics of mature believers, and he challenges them to extend every effort to grow in grace and knowledge (1:3-11). Peter also provides the credentials of true teachers to help the readers in discerning the truth of God’s Word (1:12-21).
We will now begin our verse-by-verse exegesis of Second Peter.
I. Introduction (1:1-2)
A. The Salutation (1:1)
(2 Pet 1:1 KJV) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
1. The Author (1:1a)
Peter identifies himself as the author of this epistle. Even though the authorship and canonicity of this epistle were questioned in the early Church, its inclusion in the Bible is assured. God protects his Word and 2 Peter is clearly of the Holy Spirit. Peter uses both the Greek and the Hebrew names in identifying himself. He most likely did this to show the makeup of the Church as being Hebrew and Greek.
2. The Audience (1:1b)
Peter is clearly writing to members of the Church “that have obtained like precious faith” through the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, who is the Savior. The word for “obtained” means to obtain by lot and points to the sovereign choice of God for each believer rather than anything done by the believer. The word for “like precious” means the faith received by all was equal to the one received by the apostles. All believers receive the very same measure of faith, and it has equal honor and privilege with the faith given the apostles. In simple terms, the faith of the apostles was no different from the faith of any believer.
The grammar of “God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” confirms that Jesus Christ is both. Jesus Christ is our God and our Savior. Jesus Christ is Deity.
B. The Blessing (1:2)
(2 Pet 1:2 KJV) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
“Grace and peace” was the characteristic Greek and Hebrew greeting by Peter and Paul. The word “multiplied” means to be in abundance and the optative mood of the grammar stresses the writer’s sincere, prayerful wish for the readers. Grace and peace refer to the characteristics of a mature Christian, and these characteristics are acquired through the knowledge (i.e., epignosis) of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Epignosis refers to the deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ acquired in the study of God’s Word and the intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ, acquired by allowing him to live his life through us. Grace and peace can only be multiplied in the Christian by a study and application of God’s Word.
II. Eternal Life and Godliness: Required for the Abundant Entrance (1:3-11)
This passage confirms that all Christians have been given the necessary power to attain to soul salvation and be godly believers that enter into the kingdom of God. However, it is conditional upon the actions of the believer. This is seen in the conditional phrases “might be partakers” (vs. 4), “if these things be in you” (1:8) and “if you do these things” (1:10).
A. Divine Power to Realize the Promises (1:3-4)
1. Power for Life & Godliness (1:3)
(2 Pet 1:3 KJV) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
God has given us everything we need that pertains to “life”. Life refers to the attainment of soul salvation by living godly lives. We can only do this through the “knowledge of him” who called us to glory and virtue. This knowledge is the epignosis described above.
2. Christians Can Escape the Corruption (1:4)
(2 Pet 1:4 KJV) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
God has given us “great and precious promises” of entrance into the kingdom of God if we do certain things that are addressed in the following verses. If we heed these promises, then we “might be partakers of the divine nature”. We can only be “partakers of the divine nature” by escaping the corruption in the world. The corruption is in the world because of the lust of the old flesh nature. To be a partaker of the divine nature means that we live godly lives, and we can only do this if we crucify the lust of the old flesh nature. This is speaking of soul salvation by putting off the old man (old flesh nature) and putting on the new man (new nature that has been given us). This is work and requires action on our part. It is conditional and will not be done by all Christians. This is seen in the following verses.
B. Requirements for the Abundant Entrance (1:5-11)
(2 Pet 1:5 KJV) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And besides crucifying the old flesh nature, it is required that we give our full effort (i.e., all diligence) to add virtue to our faith. We have the faith given us by God, but we must add moral excellence and practical righteousness (i.e., virtue) to our lives. We must also add the epignosis or deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ.
(2 Pet 1:6 KJV) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
In addition to virtue and knowledge, we must add temperance. Temperance is self-restraint or self-control. If a Christian does not have self-control, it is his own fault, for God has given us all things necessary for us to exercise self-control or self-restraint.
We must also add patience to our faith. Patience means that we are able to bear or endure pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness. We must have self-control and be able to remain calm under great stress. We must also have godliness. This is reverence and piety or respect toward God.
(2 Pet 1:7 KJV) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
We must also add brotherly kindness or brotherly love, in addition to godly love or agape for our fellow Christians. Brotherly kindness is philadelphia or brotherly love for the brethren and charity is agape or godly love.
(2 Pet 1:8 KJV) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we have all of these characteristics in us as Christians, then we will not be barren or unfruitful in our deeper knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(2 Pet 1:9 KJV) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
If we do not have these things in our lives, then we are spiritually blind and undiscerning of spiritual things. We have forgotten what Christ has done for us in purging us of our sins. This is talking about Christians who are unfaithful to their calling. They are spiritually blind and do not live as they should. There will be consequences for this failure.
(2 Pet 1:10 KJV) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
All Christians were called to faithfulness and entrance into the kingdom of heaven. This is the inheritance that Christians can realize by being faithful to our Lord and Savior. All Christians are called, but not all Christians will be chosen (i.e., elected). This goes back to the verse that states:
(Mat 20:16 KJV) So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
The “many be called” are the Church. The whole Church is spiritually born-again and will enter into heaven. The “few chosen” are the members of the Church that are chosen to reign and rule with Jesus Christ, because they have worked diligently “to make their calling and election sure”. The fact that works are required for this is seen in the phrase “give diligence”. A Southern Baptist preacher told my mother a while back that he was “saved and that is all that matters”. This is the big lie in the Church today. Many are saved spiritually, but only a few will be chosen to reign and rule with Jesus Christ in his kingdom. In general, the Southern Baptist Church is part of the Sardis church in Revelation 3. It has a reputation for being alive, but it is “dead” or unfruitful in its works. The following passage is addressed to the Sardis church, which includes many Protestant churches:
(Rev 3:1 KJV) And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
(Rev 3:2 KJV) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Please note in verse 1 that the Sardis church is “dead” in relation to its works. It has a reputation that its works “livest”, but they “art dead”. This is in reference to being fruitful, and it is not referring to being spiritually dead. The Sardis church is made up of born-again believers, but they are unfruitful in their works. Their works are not “perfect before God.” This means their works are not mature or complete. The Sardis church is not providing meat to its members. The Sardis church is only providing “milk” and even the “milk” is clabbered or spoiled. I know many pastors and members in the Sardis church, and it is my prayer that they will wake up to the truths of Scripture before the Firstfruits Rapture. The Sardis church will be “left behind” at the Firstfruits Rapture. I am talking about “born-again”, “blood-bought”, Christians being separated or “cut asunder” at the Firstfruits Rapture because they are unfruitful. Their works are “dead” or unfruitful.
(2 Pet 1:11 KJV) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If Christians work diligently to make their “calling and election sure”, then they will receive an abundant entrance into the “everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” In contrast to the teachings of the Sardis church, this is not talking about going to heaven. It is talking about receiving an abundant entrance into the millennial kingdom to reign and rule with Jesus Christ. The Sardis church only knows heaven or hell, and it does not understand the parables of the kingdom of heaven. It is true that all Christians go to heaven, but not all Christians enter into the king’s dominion. The word “kingdom” means king’s dominion. It refers to a position of authority and not to a place.
Those who fail to “enter the kingdom” will be “cast into outer darkness”. Since entering the kingdom is entering into a position of authority, being cast into outer darkness is the failure to enter into a position of authority. The Christian that is cast into outer darkness fails to receive his inheritance in the kingdom of God. He fails to be exalted into a position of authority and prominence. He does not receive the “abundant entrance” into the kingdom of God. HE WILL STILL BE IN HEAVEN, and he will still be changed into the image of Jesus Christ. His life as an unfruitful Christian will perish.
III. Peter Emphasizes the Coming Kingdom of Heaven (1:12-21)
(2 Pet 1:12 KJV) Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Peter was faithful to warn the Christians about the importance of working diligently to “enter the kingdom” with an “abundant entrance”. He knew the ones he was writing to understood these truths, but Peter wanted them to “be established” in these truths. This means that he wanted them to be firmly established in these truths about the kingdom. Many Christians hear these truths about the kingdom, and they receive them with joy, but they do not have a firm root or foundation, so they fall away when the going gets rough. Also, many that do have a firm root on these truths get caught up in the cares of the world in seeking after riches, and they also fall away from these truths. Only a few Christians are firmly grounded in these truths and do not get caught up in the cares of the world. Many are called to spirit salvation, but only a few will be chosen to reign and rule with Christ in his millennial kingdom. All of the “called” are born-again spiritually.
(2 Pet 1:13 KJV) Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
Peter continues in stating that it is appropriate (i.e., meet) for him to remind them of teachings about entering the kingdom by working diligently. He states that he will do this as long as he is in his body (i.e., this tabernacle).
(2 Pet 1:14 KJV) Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me.
Peter goes on to say that he will die soon, and he emphasizes that Jesus Christ had even shown him the manner of his death in accordance with the following passage of Scripture:
(John 21:17 KJV) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
(John 21:18 KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
(John 21:19 KJV) This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
This prophecy by Jesus was fulfilled when Peter was crucified a short time after writing this epistle. Tradition states that Peter requested to be crucified upside down as he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus Christ. Tradition places Peter’s crucifixion in late A.D. 67 or early A.D. 68. This was just before the offer of the kingdom of heaven expired to the Jews, and the Roman General Titus destroyed Jerusalem in A.D.70.
(2 Pet 1:15 KJV) Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
Peter’s desire and effort in writing this epistle was that the Church would keep these truths in remembrance. Unfortunately, the Church has now become leavened with false teachings, and only a few Christians have any significant understanding of kingdom truths. There is the faithful Philadelphia church that teaches these truths, but the great majority of the Church rejects these teachings. This is in perfect accord with the letters to the seven churches that Jesus gave to John in the book of Revelation.
(2 Pet 1:16 KJV) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
Peter states that they (i.e., the apostles) did not make up these stories about the coming kingdom and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He emphasizes that they actually got a glimpse of this coming kingdom at the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. This glimpse of the coming kingdom was addressed in the following passage of Scripture:
(Mat 16:28 KJV) Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
(Mat 17:1 KJV) And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
(Mat 17:2 KJV) And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
(Mat 17:3 KJV) And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
(Mat 17:4 KJV) Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
(Mat 17:5 KJV) While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
(Mat 17:6 KJV) And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
(Mat 17:7 KJV) And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
(Mat 17:8 KJV) And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
Peter, James and John received a glimpse into the future of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is important to note in verse 17:1 above that the kingdom would come after six days. Of course, the figurative meaning of this is after six thousand years. The six thousand years of earth’s history are over, so it is time for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to set up his kingdom on earth.
(2 Pet 1:17 KJV) 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 Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Peter restates what took place at the transfiguration. The transfiguration was a prophetic preview of Jesus Christ being inaugurated as King of kings and Lord of lords over heaven and earth. He will take over the reins of ruling from Satan at that time. This has not yet occurred, as Satan is still god of this earth, even though Jesus Christ has paid the price for the redemption of the earth. Jesus Christ has already paid the price, but He has not yet completed the legal transaction to take over the reign and rule of the earth. The throne of Christ will be set in heaven at the very beginning of the tribulation, where He will begin the legal transaction of breaking the seals on the title deed to the earth. It will take him 42 months to complete the breaking of the seals, and Antichrist will have unchecked authority over the earth during these 42 months. At the end of the 42 months, Jesus Christ will spend 3 1/2 years raining down the trumpet judgments and bowl judgments on the earth as He purges it from its curse, and He destroys the cities of the earth and the people of Satan. At the end of the seven years Jesus Christ will set his throne upon the earth where He will take complete control over the earth.
In simple language, Jesus Christ will take over the control of the heavens at the middle of the tribulation period, and He will take over the control of earth at the end of the tribulation period. Satan and his angels will be thrown out of heaven down to earth at the middle of the tribulation period, and he will be locked up in the abyss (i.e., the bottomless pit) at the end of the seven years. Satan’s minions, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, will be cast into the Lake of Fire (i.e., Gehenna) at the end of the seven-year tribulation period.
(2 Pet 1:18 KJV) And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
Peter restates that they actually heard the voice of God when they were with him on the high mountain. A “high mountain” is a figure for the coming kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(2 Pet 1:19 KJV) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Peter also states that not only did they get a preview of the coming kingdom at the transfiguration, but they also have received the truths of what is going to happen in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the “sure word of prophecy”. Peter warns the recipients of his epistle to heed the Scriptures as they are like “a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn”. The day that dawns is the seventh day or the seventh thousand-year period that will usher in the millennial kingdom.
The daystar that arises in the hearts of Christians is not Jesus Christ, as is commonly thought. The daystar is the planet Venus, and it represents those Christians that go through the tribulation and reflect the light of Jesus Christ just before the darkest part of the night. The darkest part of the night is the last half of the tribulation period. The daystar appears about 3:00AM in the morning, which represents the midpoint of the tribulation period.
The daystar or morning star does not emit light itself, but it reflects the light of the Sun that is not yet shining upon the observer. The daystar is high enough in the heavens to reflect the light of the sun before the sun actually comes up and shines upon the observer. There will be many Christians who will become faithful during the first half of the tribulation period, and they will reflect the light (i.e., spiritual truths) to believers still upon the earth.
The Five Wise Virgins in the Parable of the Ten Virgins are not part of the daystar, but they will be revealed as the bride and her court. They will reflect the light of Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem. The Five Wise Virgins will be raptured into heaven at the midnight hour, which is the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period. The daystar or morning star appears at the middle of the night just before the darkest part of the night. The Five Foolish Virgins will be “cut asunder” from the Five Wise Virgins to go through the first half of the tribulation. Many among the Five Foolish Virgins will be cleansed and purified during this period, and they will become the daystar, which becomes visible just before the darkest part of the night. The time period between midnight and 3:00AM represents the first half of the tribulation period. It is a time of darkness to the world, but it is not the darkest part of the night, which occurs between 3:00AM and 6:00AM.
The daystar represents the spiritual light or understanding that will arise in the hearts (souls) of Christians during the first half of the tribulation period. Those Christians that reflect this spiritual light will become the daystar or morning star. At one time Satan was the morning star that reflected the light of Christ, but he fell from that position. Satan is called Lucifer because the name means light-bearer. It is faithful members of the Church during the tribulation period who will become the morning star. The following Scripture addresses members of the church of Thyatira that are overcomers:
(Rev 2:25 KJV) But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
(Rev 2:26 KJV) And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
(Rev 2:27 KJV) And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
(Rev 2:28 KJV) And I will give (i.e., make) him the morning star.
This letter to the church of Thyatira (i.e., born-again Catholics) pertains to those who go through the tribulation and are overcomers. They will enter the kingdom and rule the nations with a rod of iron. The correct translation of verse 28 is “And I will make him the morning star.” It could also be translated as “And I will commission him the morning star.” The overcomers in the tribulation period will rule the nations with a rod of iron, and they will be granted the honor of reflecting the light and glory of Jesus Christ to the nations. In simple language the bride and her court will reflect the light of Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem, but those that are commissioned as the “daystar” will reflect the light of Jesus Christ to the nations.
The following verse calls David the bright and morning star, since the life and kingship of David reflected the coming golden age and glory of Jesus Christ.
(Rev 22:16 KJV) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Both ands are not in the literal text. The correct translation is “I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.” David served as the “bright morning star”, since he was a most excellent type of Jesus Christ.
The daystar or morning star is not a figure for Jesus Christ. The daystar is not a true star, since it is not the source of the light. The Sun is the source of the light, and it is a figure for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Sun appears in all of its glory at the morning, or after the tribulation period is ended. In the same manner, Jesus Christ will appear in power and glory at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. The transfiguration was a preview of this appearance.
(2 Pet 1:20 KJV) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
This verse clearly states that we cannot just make a private interpretation of the prophecies in Scripture. We must seek out the real meaning of the prophecies, and we must be willing to change our minds when we see that we have misunderstood a prophecy. The true New Testament Prophet must be willing to change his mind on the meaning of Scripture as the Holy Spirit guides him into truth. Many in the Church today totally confuse the New Testament Prophet with the Old Testament Prophet. The Old Testament Prophet is addressed in verse 20 below. New Testament Prophets are simply members of the Church with the spiritual gift of prophecy.
The New Testament Prophet studies the Scriptures and expounds on the Word of God. The New Testament Prophet makes errors in his understanding and in his teachings, but he must correct his errors when the Holy Spirit guides him into truth. All teachings of the New Testament Prophet must be tested and compared with the Word of God. The following Scriptures address the New Testament Prophet:
(Rom 12:6 KJV) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
The word “faith” means the amount of spiritual truth a prophet possesses. Some have more spiritual truth than others do. These have the ability to prophesy more than those that have less spiritual truth.
(1 Cor 13:9 KJV) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
This confirms that New Testament Prophets only have partial knowledge of spiritual truths.
(1 Cor 14:1 KJV) Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
(1 Cor 14:2 KJV) For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
(1 Cor 14:3 KJV) But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
The New Testament Prophet edifies, exhorts and comforts the Church. Prophecy is the greatest gift among the spiritual gifts. The New Testament Prophet who has been faithful to his calling will receive a grand reward in the coming kingdom of God. There will be some Christians who are not Prophets, but they will receive the same reward as the Prophet. This is addressed in the following Scripture:
(Mat 10:41 KJV) He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
Basically, this Scripture states that those Christians who do not have the gift of prophecy, but are discerning enough to recognize a New Testament Prophet faithful to his calling, then these Christians will receive the same reward as the New Testament Prophet. The one criterion is that they receive this New Testament Prophet as one operating in the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, most in the Church today are not discerning enough to recognize a New Testament Prophet operating in the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. This is really very simple, as it means those Christians that have other gifts and are filled with the Holy Spirit will be able to recognize the New Testament Prophet operating in the power and authority of a prophet. The Greek word for “receiveth” means to receive favorably, to give ear to, to embrace his teachings and not to reject him and his teachings. Those Christians that do this will receive the same reward as the New Testament Prophet will receive. Thus, the highest rewards in the coming kingdom are not just limited to those Christians with the spiritual gift of prophecy.
The following passage of Scripture confirms that the New Testament Prophet is to expound on the Scriptures, but the other prophets must judge his teachings:
(1 Cor 14:29 KJV) Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
(1 Cor 14:30 KJV) If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
(1 Cor 14:31 KJV) For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
(1 Cor 14:32 KJV) And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
(1 Cor 14:33 KJV) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
(1 Cor 14:34 KJV) Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
(1 Cor 14:35 KJV) And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
The purpose of the prophets is to expound upon and teach the Word of God to the Church. Verses 34 and 35 above confirm that women are not to prophesy or teach doctrine to the main body of the Church. The Laodicean church has violated this precept greatly, and the Sardis church has begun to violate it.
(2 Pet 1:21 KJV) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
This verse describes the Old Testament Prophet. The prophecies in the Scriptures did not come from the writers of the Scriptures, but they came from God the Holy Spirit as He moved men to record exactly what God wanted us to hear. We must remember that it is not the translations that were recorded verbatim, but the original manuscripts in the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. We must continually seek the true meaning of Scripture as originally intended by the Holy Spirit. We are not left up to our own devices to do this as the Holy Spirit guides us in understanding the Scriptures. He has also given us many helps for understanding the Scriptures in their original languages. The more we study the Scriptures in the power of the Holy Spirit, the clearer the meaning becomes. We must be open and teachable in order to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through the Written Word of God.
The Holy Spirit moved the Old Testament Prophet and he spoke verbatim what the Holy Spirit stated. He would begin his utterances “Thus saith the Lord” or with some other similar phrase. The New Testament Prophet operating in the power of the Holy Spirit will never say “Thus saith the Lord” or a similar phrase, because he is not speaking verbatim from God. Those “prophets” that speak as though God was speaking through them are the false teachers addressed in the following Scripture.
IV. Peter Warns about False Teachers in the Church (2:1-22)
(2 Pet 2:1 KJV) 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.
Just as there were false prophets in the Old Testament that deceived the people, there would be false teachers among the Church that will deceive the people. Many false teachers have been among the Church, and they have secretly and craftily introduced false teachings or doctrines. The Greek word for “heresies” means teachings that they have devised within themselves. These teachings are not from the Scriptures and not of the Holy Spirit.
It is important to note that these false teachers are born-again, blood-bought Christians. The statement “even denying the Lord that bought them” confirms this. They are Christians but they have substituted their own doctrines for the doctrines in the Bible. These teachings have been propagated down through the centuries, and now we have a Church that is completely leavened with false doctrines and false teachings. All one has to do is turn on the Trinity Broadcasting Network to see the false teachings of the church of Laodicea. Health, wealth and prosperity are the cornerstone teachings of Laodicea. Attend a Catholic mass to observe the false teachings of the church of Thyatira. Attend an Easter or Christmas service at a Baptist, Presbyterian or Methodist church to observe the false teachings of the church of Sardis. Look for the church of Philadelphia until you are blue in the face, but it is doubtful that you will find one with more than 25 members, and it will most likely meet in a home somewhere. The church of Philadelphia is too poor to have a large church building, and its teachings on accountability from the Word of God are unpalatable to most Christians. These teachings require time spent in the Word of God, self-sacrifice, self-discipline, self-control, kindness, gentleness, and great effort expended in living in accordance with the Word of God.
Laodicea substitutes the emotional for the spiritual, and Sardis substitutes the imputed righteousness of Christ for the practical righteousness that must be sought after and developed with great effort. Thyatira substitutes ritual for this same practical righteousness. Laodicea points to its wealth as proof of its works, while Sardis denigrates works altogether. Laodicea cannot distinguish works in the flesh from works in the power of the Holy Spirit. Laodicea thinks that it is rich and Sardis thinks that it is alive. Thyatira refuses to repent of its fornication, and Philadelphia thinks that it is poor. The Church as a whole is going to be greatly surprised when the meek really do receive the earth as their inheritance. Why has the Church so complicated and convoluted this precious truth from our Savior’s own lips?
(2 Pet 2:2 KJV) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
Peter confirms that many in the Church will follow their own destructive ways, and the way of truth shall be denigrated. Of course, the way of truth is death to the self and allowing Christ to live his life in us. This is too humiliating for most Church members, so they disregard it and go on in their own self-delusions. They will tell you that all will go to heaven in a pretribulational rapture, and none will see hardship. They will tell you that all are part of the bride of Christ and all will enter the kingdom. They will tell you that all you have to do is “get saved” and then everything will be okay. These are the pernicious ways that will cause many Christians to perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
NOTE: Please read my dissertation To Perish or not to Perish to understand what it means to perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(2 Pet 2:3 KJV) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
This verse is translated very well in the New International Version as follows:
(2 Pet 2:3 NIV) In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
If you really want to hear some made-up stories, just turn on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and listen to a message from Creflow Dollar. I have difficulty believing this is his real name. It appears to be made up from the expression create the flow of dollars. The topic of every one of his messages is how to get rich—the primary message of Laodicea. Mr. Dollar is exploiting thousands of Christians by stories that he has made up. He does this out of greed for money. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THESE FALSE TEACHERS ARE BORN-AGAIN, BLOOD-BOUGHT BELIEVERS. They will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and there will be punishment for their pernicious ways. Destruction is awaiting them and it will not sleep.
(2 Pet 2:4 KJV) 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;
Peter compares these false teachers with the angels that sinned and were cast down into Tartaros, which is the deepest abyss in Hades or Sheol. These angels are reserved in chains of darkness to be judged at the appropriate time. These false teachers will also be judged at the appropriate time at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(2 Pet 2:5 KJV) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
God also did not spare the Old World, but He destroyed it in the flood. He only physically saved the eight members of Noah’s family, as Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Noah and his family lived righteous lives, so they did not perish in the flood. Many of the people that perished in the flood were children of God, but they did not live righteous lives. They lived ungodly lives, so they perished in the flood.
(2 Pet 2:6 KJV) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
Peter also uses the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as the example to Christians who “live ungodly” lives. The most misunderstood truth in the Bible is that many Christians will perish in the Lake of Fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ. They will still be in heaven and they will still be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, but their old lives will be burned in the Lake of Fire, which is Gehenna Fire. These are the Christians who will have their names blotted out of the “book of life”. These are the Christians who will be “hurt by the second death”. These are the Christians who “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone”. These are the Christians who will have their works tried in the fire, but their works will be burned up as wood, hay and stubble in accordance with the following Scripture:
(1 Cor 3:12 KJV) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
(1 Cor 3:13 KJV) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
(1 Cor 3:14 KJV) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
(1 Cor 3:15 KJV) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The great majority of Christians does not understand that our lives will be tried in the same lake of fire that was created for the devil and his angels. The lives of many Christians will perish in this same fire, but they will still be saved “yet so as by fire” in accordance with 1 Cor. 3:15 above. It is the unrighteous lives of these Christians that perish. The warnings in Scripture about perishing in the Lake of Fire are addressed to Christians, but most do not understand these warnings.
(2 Pet 2:7 KJV) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
Peter uses Lot as an example of a believer who is oppressed with the evils of the world. Just as Lot was a justified believer, he was not living a faithful life, so he is the example of one saved “as though by fire” or one coming through the fire. It is important to read the following verses with the understanding that they pertain to Lot.
Lot is a type for unfaithful Christians who are separated from the faithful and go through the tribulation. Abraham is a type for faithful Christians who are separated from the unfaithful and go to live in the mountain. The mountain is a type of the kingdom. Sodom is a type of the world. Just as Lot was afflicted or oppressed by the evils of Sodom, the five foolish virgins will be afflicted or oppressed by the evils that will run rampant during the tribulation period. Just before the judgments of God fell on Sodom, Lot, his wife and his two daughters were rescued out of Sodom. They typify the three churches of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea, which go through the tribulation period and are removed just before the judgments of God in the middle of the tribulation. Abraham typifies the Philadelphia church, which is already in the kingdom (i.e., the mountain) when the Main Harvest Rapture takes place in the world (i.e., Sodom).
Lot, his wife and his two daughters parallel the parable of the talents where three servants go through the tribulation period. After being removed from Sodom, Lot’s wife is destroyed but Lot and his two daughters make it out of the city intact. Even though Lot’s wife is destroyed (i.e., she loses her life), she is turned into a pillar of salt. Salt typifies wisdom and prudence, which keeps the actions, lives and manners of men from fault. The covenant of salt signifies that which is lasting and perpetual. Thus, Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt typifies the Christian who has lived a worthless life, but is destroyed after the Rapture, and is changed into a purified, sanctified believer. Lot’s wife is parallel to the servant that received one talent but lost it at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Lot and his two daughters typify the servants that received the five talents and the two talents and end up as good and faithful servants after going through the tribulation period.
(2 Pet 2:8 KJV) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
Lot dwelled in Sodom just as the Christians separated at the Firstfruits Rapture will continue to dwell upon the earth. This verse shows that Lot’s soul was righteous even though it was afflicted and oppressed from day to day with the unrighteousness of Sodom. Lot’s wife never did lose her love of Sodom, a type of the world and the world system. Even as she was being rescued (i.e., raptured) she looked longingly back to Sodom (i.e., the world). It was because of her love for the world and the things of the world that she was completely destroyed and changed into the type for wisdom and prudence. The destruction of her life typifies the destruction of her soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(2 Pet 2:9 KJV) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
This verse is making a distinction between a faithful Christian and an unfaithful Christian who goes through the tribulation period. Just as Lot and his two daughters were delivered out of Sodom without losing their lives, they typify the ones that are faithful or godly during the tribulation period. Lot’s wife is a type of the unjust (i.e., unrighteous) one who is reserved in her state of unrighteousness until the Judgment Seat of Christ, where she will be punished for her wickedness.
NOTE: It is very important to remember that even though Lot’s wife lost her life, she was turned into salt, which is the symbol for wisdom and prudence. The reason for this is seen in the following passage of Scripture:
(2 Tim 2:10 KJV) Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
(2 Tim 2:11 KJV) It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
(2 Tim 2:12 KJV) If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
(2 Tim 2:13 KJV) If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
Please note in the above passage that Paul desires “the elect” to “obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory”. This is soul salvation and not spirit salvation. The requirement is that we must die to self and allow him to live his life in us (vs. 11). This requires suffering for Christ. If we suffer for Christ, we shall reign with him. If we deny him in our lives, He will deny us at the Judgment Seat of Christ (vs. 12). The phrase “If we believe not,” means that we do not entrust our spiritual well being to Christ. It is referring to a Christian who does not put to death the old nature and allow his new spirit nature to reign in his life. Even though a Christian is unfaithful in this manner, Christ “abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” Even though Christians live a life that will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ, they will still be changed into the likeness of Christ to dwell in heaven. They will not enter the kingdom to reign and rule with Jesus Christ, and they will not qualify as his bride. The following verse describes this kind of Christian.
(2 Pet 2:10 KJV) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
This verse describes the Christian who walks after his flesh nature and follows the lust of the flesh, which causes him to be defiled or unclean. The phrase “despise government” means this Christian disdains or thinks little of the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ. The word for “government” is the word for dominion. Many Christians think it is beneath them or unworthy for them to stoop to strive for entrance into the kingdom of God. Many Christians think it is ridiculous to work and strive to enter into the kingdom of God. These are the Christians who “despise government”. They despise their inheritance or birthright, just as Esau despised his and sold it for a bowl of stew.
The last half of this verse states why they disdain the kingdom of God. They are presumptuous. This means they presume that they will enter the kingdom without effort. They are self-willed. This means they are arrogant and are out to please themselves rather than God. “They are not afraid to speak evil of dignities,” means that they make fun of and vilify the teachings on striving to enter the kingdom of God. The word for “dignities” means the exalted state of reigning and ruling with Jesus Christ in his glorious kingdom. Many Christians speak evil of teachings on the kingdom of God. These Christians are arrogant and presume that they have already attained to entrance into the kingdom because of their spirit salvation. They understand nothing about soul salvation and the possibility of destruction at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Jesus warned Christians about this possibility in the following verse:
(Luke 17:28 KJV) Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
(Luke 17:29 KJV) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
(Luke 17:30 KJV) Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
(Luke 17:31 KJV) In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
(Luke 17:32 KJV) Remember Lot's wife.
(Luke 17:33 KJV) Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
(2 Pet 2:11 KJV) Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
Even though these Christians are presumptuous, arrogant and denigrate works for the purpose of entering the kingdom of God, they are still born-again, blood-bought Christians who have received the imputed righteousness of Christ. Therefore, angels who are greater in power and might than these Christians do not accuse them critically before the Lord. These angels are the fallen ones that are Satan’s minions. They follow Satan, the accuser of the brethren, who accuses Christians night and day. However, these are Christians who have received the imputed righteousness of Christ, and no criticism will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The phrase “before the Lord” means in his actual presence. No fallen angels will be present at the Judgment Seat of Christ to condemn Christians. Even though Satan accuses the brethren now during the Church Age, he will not be present when Christians appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We know that Satan and his fallen angels will have been cast down to earth at the time of the Judgment Seat of Christ for these Christians. Therefore, none will be present to accuse the brethren at that time.
However, these Christians will be judged by the Lord in accordance with their works (vs. 13) at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and it will not be a pleasant experience. The following verses describe this judgment by the Lord Jesus Christ:
(2 Pet 2:12 KJV) But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
Even though these Christians are born-again believers, they function “as natural brute beasts”. The word for “as” means in the same manner. The word for “natural” means they function in accordance with their flesh nature rather than their spirit nature, and the word for “brute” means unreasonable. The word for “beast” means a living being. This phrase means that these Christians have been quickened or made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit, but they still function in accordance with their flesh nature. This is unreasonable, which means they do not think or reason correctly. They are unthinking in their actions. This is the same as the “five foolish virgins” in the Olivet Discourse. The five wise virgins were thinking and reasoning, but the five foolish virgins were unthinking and unreasoning.
The word for “made” means born-again or regenerated by the Father via the Holy Spirit. This is the second confirmation in this same verse that these people are blood-bought, born-again, regenerated Christians. However, they are unthinking, unreasoning Christians who will suffer the consequences of their actions. They will “be taken and destroyed”. The word for “taken” means taken away or caught away and refers to the rapture of the Church at the midpoint of the seven-year tribulation period. These Christians will be taken away and destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The word for destroyed also means to perish and refers to the souls of these Christians. Even though these Christians are born-again, their lives or souls will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
They speak reproachfully or critically of things they do not understand, and they shall perish or be destroyed in their own moral decay.
The following is from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on the Greek word for “utterly perish” in this verse:
to corrupt, to destroy
b) to lead away a Christian congregation from that state of knowledge and holiness in which it ought to abide
c) to be destroyed, to perish
d) in an ethical sense, to corrupt, to deprave
(2 Pet 2:13 KJV) And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
This verse provides the key to understanding this passage in the word “reward”. These Christians will receive the “reward of unrighteousness”. Even though they are born-again Christians, they will receive the just recompense of reward for living unrighteous lives. They will be in heaven but their lives will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The issue in question is REWARD and not whether a Christian will enter heaven. We must remember in verse 11 above that none of the fallen angels will be present to bring accusations against these Christians. The reason is that these Christians have the imputed righteousness of Christ, even though they were corrupted and do not possess the practical righteousness of Christ. These Christians that are destroyed are the very ones that harshly criticized the teachings on entering the kingdom of heaven and the difference between imputed and practical righteousness. In accordance with verse 12 above, they “speak evil of the things that they understand not”. This is one of the primary reasons that they will “utterly perish” at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Neither Satan nor his fallen angels will be there to accuse them, but Jesus Christ will judge them according to their works of unrighteousness. CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL IN CRITICIZING OTHER CHRISTIANS AND THE TEACHINGS THAT THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
Continuing in verse 13, these Christians that “receive the reward of unrighteousness” are the ones that highly esteem their lives of pleasure and debauchery. This is the meaning of “count it pleasure to riot in the day time”. The word for “day time” refers to the present age that we as Christians are to abstain from indulging our flesh natures, immoral practices, and disobedience to the laws of God. Christians that do these things are not blameless and faultless. They delight in their luxuries and deceive themselves while they feast sumptuously while fellowshipping with their Christian brethren.
(2 Pet 2:14 KJV) Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
“Having eyes full of adultery,” metaphorically means they lust after the things of the world. They covet or desire the wealth and riches of the world, which makes them idolaters. This is sin and these Christians continue in their sins and even delude (i.e., beguile) other Christians into the same error. The riches of the world beguile the Laodicean church, and the pastors of these churches even preach that wealth is a sign of faithfulness. The “unstable souls” are those unfaithful or Laodicean Christians that are caught up in these covetous practices. They are “cursed children.” They are children or teknon of God, but they will be cursed instead of blessed. The curse will be the destruction at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and the failure to inherit the kingdom of God.
(2 Pet 2:15 KJV) Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
These are children of God, but they have forsaken the right way. The right way is the way of righteousness, but they have chosen to follow the way of Balaam. The way of Balaam was to preach and prophesy for gain. The Laodicean pastors of today are doing just this. The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) has been nicknamed The Laodicean Network because of its emphasis on preaching and prophesying for the purpose of gaining wealth. Wealth is the wages of unrighteousness in the Laodicean church, but the end is a curse with the destruction and loss of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(2 Pet 2:16 KJV) But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
Balaam was a prophet of God, but he chose wealth over obedience to God. His own donkey rebuked him for his evil way, and three times it kept him from being slain by the Angel of the Lord. In the end the donkey rebuked the prophet for his foolishness.
(2 Pet 2:17 KJV) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
Peter compares these unfaithful Christians to wells without water, and clouds without water that are blown about by the wind. They are destined for destruction and the outer darkness to which Jesus referred. The Greek word for “for ever” is the word for age. These Christians are cast into the outer darkness for the millennial age. Outer darkness is the opposite of entering the kingdom. Christians that are not qualified to enter into the reign and rule of Jesus Christ are said to have been cast into outer darkness.
(2 Pet 2:18 KJV) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
These Christians speak boastful words that reveal their pridefulness and arrogance. They attract Christians who have escaped the pollution of the world, and they are again ensnared by the deceitfulness of riches.
(2 Pet 2:19 KJV) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
These Laodicean pastors and teachers promise liberty to these Christians, but they are themselves caught up as servants of corruption. They are overcome by the wealth of the world at the same time that they are promising liberty to immature Christians. They are brought into the bondage of the old flesh nature, and other Christians are ensnared with them in this bondage. I am quite amazed at how easily new Christians are deceived by such pastors and teachers on TBN.
(2 Pet 2:20 KJV) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
Christians who have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ are worse off if they are again entangled with this pollution, than they would have been if they had never escaped the pollution of the world. Christians that have experienced the way of righteousness are more accountable than Christians that have never experienced the way of righteousness.
(2 Pet 2:21 KJV) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
Once a Christian has turned from his life of sin and sought after righteousness, he is now more accountable for continuing on this path of righteousness. If he grows into a measure of spiritual maturity and then turns his back on God, he will then be worse off at the Judgment Seat of Christ than if he had never grown in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ increases the accountability for a Christian at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The following Scripture addresses Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ:
(Luke 12:47 KJV) And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
(Luke 12:48 KJV) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
(2 Pet 2:22 KJV) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
The Christian that repents of his sin and walks worthy for a time and then returns to his life of sin is compared to a dog that returns to its own vomit to eat it, and a sow that was clean and returned to the mud hole to wallow. A spiritually unsaved person can never be cleansed and then return to sin. Only a believer can be cleansed and then return to sin. He is still spiritually saved, but he will be accountable at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
V. Christian Preparation for the Coming of the Lord (3:1-16)
(2 Pet 3:1 KJV) This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
Peter has been warning Christians about the accountability that we have for our lives, and he now jumps to the Second Coming of Christ as a final warning to believers. He seeks to stir up our minds to remember the accountability that we will have at the Second Coming of Christ.
(2 Pet 3:2 KJV) 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:
Peter reminds Christians about the words of the “holy prophets” in the Old Testament, and the “commandments” of the Apostles of Christ in the New Testament. These reminders are for Christians and not unsaved reprobates.
(2 Pet 3:3 KJV) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
Peter tells us that there will be Christian scoffers that walk after their own flesh nature. An unsaved reprobate cannot walk any other way. Only the Christian has the choice to walk after his flesh nature or his new spirit nature. Peter was absolutely correct, as there are numerous Christians who are currently walking after their flesh nature. I have personally had church-going Christians scoff at the Return of Jesus Christ in accordance with the following verse:
(2 Pet 3:4 KJV) 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.
I have personally had Christians say that they have been hearing for 40 years that Christ was coming. They actually mocked me for preaching the soon return of the Lord. These are blood-bought, born-again Christians mocking the Return of Christ. One Christian lady laughed at my mother for talking about the Return of Christ and said it was still 200 years away. What this lady did not know was that it is the “evil servant” that delays the return of Jesus Christ.
(2 Pet 3:5 KJV) 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:
These Christians that mock the return of Jesus Christ are willingly ignorant about the earth before the flood and the earth after the flood. Peter is using the perishing of the earth as a comparison for Christians who will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(2 Pet 3:6 KJV) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
The world before the flood perished in the flood. It was totally changed and is totally different, but the earth is still here. It did not cease to exist. The same principle will apply to Christians that perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(2 Pet 3:7 KJV) 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.
Just as the earth perished in the flood as a judgment from God, the earth is “kept in store” waiting to perish again, but this time by fire. Judgment Day (i.e., Doomsday) is again at the door and ungodly Christians will suffer perdition or destruction in this Judgment. The next two verses confirm that Peter is warning Christians about this perdition of Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Peter is warning Christians about this Judgment. The scoffing Christians walking after their own lusts not only fail to understand that Christ is returning very soon, but they fail to understand the Judgment Seat of Christ and the perdition of Christians.
(2 Pet 3:8 KJV) 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.
The warning is to the “beloved”, which are Christians. Peter is warning Christians that one day is as a thousand years to God and one thousand years are as one day. Forty years is not a lengthy time to watch for the return of the Lord. I have seen many Christians watch for the Lord’s return for a few years and then go back to the world and get caught up in the cares of the world. They go to sleep relative to the return of the Lord and they cease watching.
(2 Pet 3:9 KJV) 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.
Peter continues to warn Christians that the Lord is not lacking diligence or concern in his return, but He is actually longsuffering towards Christians (us-wards), as He does not desire that any Christians perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is his desire that all Christians come to repentance and not perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ. CONTRARY TO POPULAR OPINION THIS VERSE IS NOT SPEAKING OF UNSAVED REPROBATES GOING TO HELL. IT IS ADDRESSING CHRISTIANS WHO MIGHT PERISH AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. Peter even includes himself in the “us-ward” that could perish.
Note: It is very important for Christians to understand that the Holy Spirit first spiritually regenerates us, and then we are called to repentance. Repentance is a work that Christians are called to perform. We become acutely aware of our sins after we are spiritually born again. God desires that all born-again believers turn away from their sins in repentance, but many will not do so. God will deal with them at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Also, many Christians will repent of their sins and walk in righteousness for a period of time, but then turn away from God and go back to their sins. These Christians are worse off than the Christians that never turned from their sins. We have already seen Peter compare these Christians to a dog returning to its vomit, and a sow returning to the mud pit after having been washed. The vomit and mud are pictures of the defilement of sin. An unsaved person cannot rid himself of defilement and then be defiled again. Only a believer can experience the cleansing from sin, and then return to his sin. THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES FOR A CHRISTIAN WHO RETURNS TO HIS SIN. HE WILL PERISH AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. Only Christians will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Unsaved people appear at the White Throne Judgment.
(2 Pet 3:10 KJV) 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.
Peter continues by addressing the coming of the day of the Lord as a thief in the night. The day of the Lord occurs in the middle of the seven-year tribulation period. It is at this time that the Lord will judge and purge the earth from the works of Satan during the last six thousand years. Just as man is to work six days and then experience a day of rest, the earth is given six thousand years, and then the seventh day of rest will occur. The millennium is the seventh day of rest. The earth is six thousand years old, so the time for the return of Christ is at hand. The passing away of the current heavens and the current earth is the passing away of Satan’s reign from the heavens over the earth, and the passing away of the world system. The elements melting with fervent heat portrays the actual disintegration of the atom in nuclear explosions. Peter is describing the events that will take place at the time that Satan’s reign over the earth will end. It is at the middle of the seven-year tribulation that Satan and his fallen angels will be thrown out of the first and second heavens down to the earth. This is the time that the Day of the Lord will commence on earth, and the trumpet and vial judgments will be unleashed upon the earth.
This is the time that the world system under Satan will come to its end. It is not the cessation of the existence of the heavens and the earth but the purging of them by the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be a purging by fire in the same manner as the world was once purged and cleansed by the flood. The heavens and the earth will still be in existence, but they will be totally different, just as the earth was totally different after the flood. Remember in verse six above that the earth perished in the flood. It will also perish in the judgment fire of God.
(2 Pet 3:11 KJV) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
In this verse Peter reiterates that the world system is going to “be dissolved” at the time of the Day of the Lord, so he warns Christians about their lives and their responsibility to live godly lives. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SEE AND UNDERSTAND THAT ALL OF THESE WARNINGS ABOUT PERISHING ARE TO BELIEVERS. The word “dissolved” means to overthrow or do away with something. God is going to overthrow and do away with Satan’s kingdom and his authority over the earth. This is going to begin in the middle of the seven-year tribulation period after Antichrist has had his 42 months of free reign over the earth. God will spend three years purging the earth from the effects of Satan during the last six thousand years. Then Jesus Christ will set up his millennial kingdom upon the earth, during which righteousness will prevail and the curse will be removed from the earth. It will be a time of peace and prosperity upon the earth for one thousand years. “Holy conversation and godliness” refers to a Christian’s manner of living. All of these warnings pertain to the lives that Christians live. God does not desire that any Christian perish, but that all Christians should come to repentance. Again, this Scripture is not talking about God desiring that every person on earth should be saved spiritually. If God wanted every person on earth to be saved spiritually, then He would spiritually regenerate every person on earth.
(2 Pet 3:12 KJV) 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?
Peter continues the thought that all Christians should be looking for and earnestly desiring (i.e., hasting) the coming of the day of the Lord, when the rule of Satan from the heavens will be overthrown (i.e., dissolved). Peter reiterates the fact that nuclear explosions will accompany the Day of the Lord where the basic components of matter (i.e., atoms) will actually disintegrate. The Scriptures refer to nuclear weapons as the weapons of God’s indignation as follows:
(Jer 50:25 KJV) The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.
(2 Pet 3:13 KJV) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Even though the heavens and the earth under Satan’s rule will cease to exist, Christians are looking forward to new heavens and a new earth that have been redeemed from Satan, and righteousness will dwell in the new heavens and the new earth. This is the millennial kingdom and the same heavens and the same earth will be here, but they will be made new just as every Christian will be totally and completely redeemed.
(2 Pet 3:14 KJV) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Peter continues by saying that since we are looking for the new heavens and the new earth, we need to be diligent in making sure that we will be found with the peace of God, without the stain of sin, and blameless before Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ. PLEASE NOTE AND ACT UPON THIS WARNING TO CHRISTIANS.
(2 Pet 3:15 KJV) 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;
Peter emphasizes that the “longsuffering of our Lord” can result in our salvation. This salvation is the salvation of our souls at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Peter also states that Paul has written about this salvation according to the wisdom given to him.
(2 Pet 3:16 KJV) 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.
Peter emphasizes that Paul addressed soul salvation in all of his epistles, and Peter agrees that some of the things pertaining to soul salvation are difficult to understand. Spirit salvation is simple to understand, but soul salvation is more difficult to understand. Both Paul and Peter knew that it was difficult for many Christians to understand soul salvation.
Peter also states that those Christians that are ignorant of the truths about soul salvation are unstable in their spiritual walk, and they actually wrest or twist the meaning of the Scriptures pertaining to soul salvation. Christians that wrest or twist the meaning of Scriptures that explain soul salvation will do so to their own detriment with the destruction of their souls at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
VI. Conclusion (3:17-18)
Peter closes this epistle with a word of warning and a word of encouragement.
(2 Pet 3:17 KJV) 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.
The warning is that the recipients of this epistle know what he is talking about, and they need to beware of being led away in the error of wicked or unfaithful Christians. Peter is warning these Christians against falling away from their steadfastness. Unfortunately, most Christians fail to heed this warning and they apply it to unbelievers.
(2 Pet 3:18 KJV) 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.
Peter ends with the encouragement for Christians to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.