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@2011 Peter lived in Capernaum and there is a belief you can see his home today (NW edge at the Sea of Galilee). Peter is also known as Simon Peter and Cephas. Peter’s own brother Andrew brought him to the Lord (John 1). 1 and 2 Peter was written around 64-67 AD. We know from 1 Corinthians that Peter was married. Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? – 1 Corinthians 9:5. We also know that Peter had a mother in law. And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. – Matthew 8:14. Peter’s audience is dispersed Christian Jews. One of the central themes in Peter’s first letter was dealing with his famous confession from Matthew 16. The Lord asked the disciples who men said he was and some said John the Baptist, Elijah, and others said Jeremiah. He then asked Peter who he thought he was, and Peter responded that he was the Christ, son of the living God. The Lord then goes on to say that you are Peter, and on this rock I build my church. In Peter’s second letter, he will make reference to the Transfiguration from Matthew 17. Other verses speaking of the rock: For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ- 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me. – 2 Samuel 22:1-4. The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior! – 2 Samuel 22:47.
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2 Peter Table of Contents
2 Peter 1- Make your Calling and Election Sure, Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word 3-4 2 Peter 2- False Prophets and Teachers 5-6 2 Peter 3- The Day of the Lord Will Come, Final Words 7-9
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2 Peter 1 Greeting, Make your Calling and Election Sure, Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word Peter starts with his greeting as a servant and doesn’t claim to be in the hierarchy. Peter continues by saying to make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness (patience) with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. The first thing is diligence. In the business world the concept of due-diligence is important. If we make a financial investment we are subject to due-diligence to examine all of the possible ramifications of the investment. We have the same diligence in not just reading and studying the word, but doing what it tells us. We should be learning more. Peter also mentions virtue. If we have faith, what should come next? Virtue (moral excellence) is the answer. Virtue brings knowledge and the understanding of spiritual realities. Knowledge brings self control. Self control brings patience (steadfastness). Patience brings Godliness. Godliness brings brotherly affection meaning specifically the Christian brotherhood, not that we shouldn’t be kind to non-Christians. With brotherly affection brings love. Peter continues, for if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fail. Therefore I intend to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. Peter then elaborates on his experience during the Transfiguration (Matthew 17). The transfiguration was essentially a staff-meeting discussing the second coming between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Peter, James and John witnessed this meeting at Mount Pisgah. The foot of Mt. Pisgah was the location Elijah was caught up (2 Kings 11), and where Moses was buried. Peter adds, for we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made know to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses to his majesty. Don’t miss the point that not only does Peter say the power of Jesus Christ, but his Second Coming. Peter then quotes the Father when he says, “this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”. The Father speaks these words in two places. The first instance was at Bath Bara when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Second, was at the Transfiguration. Peter adds, we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy was 3 | Page
ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried by the Holy Spirit. Peter walked with Jesus Christ for 3 ½ years in his ministry and saw his many miracles with his own eyes. Peter saw Jesus walk on water, saw Elijah and Moses, heard the Fathers voice, saw Lazarus raised from the dead, saw the empty tomb, etc. Despite all of these witnessing experiences that Peter had with Jesus miracles, he says in verse 19 that there is even something more certain than his own eye witnessing experiences, and that is the prophecies. What Peter is suggesting is that prophecy in the scripture is more vivid, more convincing, more iron clad proof to us than if Peter stood here right now and demonstrated as a first person witness of all of the things he saw. Peter Stoner has a book called Science Speaks looking at the mathematics of many of the 300+ prophecies in the Old Testament that have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The key thought to understand is that yes Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus Christ. But you and I have something even better than being an eyewitness, or more fantastic if we were an apostle and seen some of Jesus’ miracles first-hand for ourselves and that is prophecy. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts – 2 Peter 1:17-19 Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:20-21
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2 Peter 2 False Prophets and Teachers 2 Peter is parallel to the book of Jude. Peter starts out speaking of false teachers. He says, but false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring destructive heresies, even denying the Master, who brought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. Peter is referring to cults- those who masquerade as Christians (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses), and in a nutshell is saying these cults are going to get theirs. Peter continues, and in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment. We know from the Old and New Testament is that we don’t mess around with them. One angel one night after dinner slaughtered 185,000 Assyrians (Isaiah 37:36, 2 Kings 19:35). One conjecture is that Peter is referencing the fall of Lucifer (Isaiah 14 & Ezekiel 28). Another suggestion dealing with angels pertains to Genesis 6: When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years." 4The Nephilim (giants) were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. – Genesis 6:1-4. The Septuagint translation doesn’t say sons of God, but angels of God. These sons of God are generally referred to as angels. These angels saw women as attractive and took them as wives and reproduced. In the early church throughout the 4th century, Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, and later Josephus, the Apocrypha all viewed these as angels having this unnatural offspring. These angels didn’t do what they were supposed to do. The King James Version says they were giants in place in those days. In Hebrew, Nephilim means to fall. Translating Nephilim into Greek, doesn’t mean Giants but the “earthborn”. It was misunderstood as giants, and that’s where we get the word giants in the English. When the sons of God, and the daughters of men when they come together, their offspring are weird. They are the fallen ones. These Nephilim bore children with the daughters of men, and then God then sets the stage for the flood. Angels can appear in human form. Later in Genesis 19, three guys show up to see Abraham and Sarah- two of them are angels and the third was Jesus Christ. These angels took human form. Sodom and Gomorrah was only 450 years after the flood. Noah’s son Shem still walked the earth during those events at Sodom and Gomorrah. Peter continues, if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of 5 | Page
righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly. Peter then mentions how God rescued Lot and how he knows to rescue the Godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despite authority. They will be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in their destruction. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in terror. In Jude 16 it also says, for they speak great swelling words of vanity. This is also the great identifier of the antiChrist. In both Daniel 7-9, Revelation 13 and in 2 Thessalonians 2, the anti-Christ is someone that has a big mouth and is identified with great swelling words of vanity. When they speak of swelling words of humanity, they allure them through the lusts of the flesh. Peter and Jude are warning against false teachers who would seek to lead them into worldly thinking and acting. These teachers may appear to be very intellectual and charismatic, with their flattery, but it is a deadly mistake to follow them. We are easily seduced by these swelling words of vanity. Peter continues, for if, after they have escaped our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to the wallow in the mire. Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. – 2 Peter 2:9-10
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2 Peter 3 The Day of the Lord Will Come, Final Words Peter starts off by telling his readers that, I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” One of the things that Peter will characterize as one of the signs of the last days will be a disbelief in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ- not by the world, but by the church. The fathers mentioned above are the patriarchs such as Abraham, Moses, Noah, etc. The concept of the Second Coming is tied to creation in that what God started in the first place, he will step into time and intervene again as he did when he created us. Evolution is an intellectual attempt to deny a God that designed it and had a purpose in it and accountability to that purpose. People who support evolution try to duck the accountability that’s implied with the creation. Peter continues, for they deliberately overlook (ignorant in the KJV) this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. Peter is discussing the creation in Genesis 1 where the earth is seen emerging out of water, as part of the creation cycle and how Peter ties that on how God used water to destroy the old civilization during the time of Noah. Peter continues, but by the same word the heavens and earth now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is one thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. What Peter is saying here that when God blows the whistle, chronological time disappears into eternity. Jesus Christ will come at exactly the right time. The one thousand years as one day implies that he has a perspective that we lack. God has sovereignty over time. Peter continues, but the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians: Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4. The day of the Lord is not the Rapture, but is the phrase where God pours out his wrath on the earth dwellers. 7 | Page
The return of the Lord Jesus Christ is in two distinct phases. The first phase is when he captures the Church known as the Rapture. Romans 11:25 says Israel is blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. There is a number when the Church is complete and when that occurs, the Father tells the Son to come gather the Church. All sorts of things happen after the Rapture that are climaxed by the Lord’s return which is identified as the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord does three things: to judge his enemies, to deliver his people and to establish his kingdom. There are a few places that speak of the day of the Lord. In Isaiah we read: See, the day of the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. – Isaiah 13:9-11. The phrase thief of the night is also known from Matthew: Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. – Matthew 24:42:44. There is also that thief of the night phrase in Luke: But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” – Luke 12:39-40. Peter continues, since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in the lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of the God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Peter then gives his final words and be at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these urgent matters. There are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. Paul and Peter are buddies, even though they did have their dispute, but Paul corrected him, and Peter accepted that. This goes back to when Peter was yielding to Jewish pressures and it is mentioned in Galatians 2. Paul mentions Peter frequently in 1 Corinthians. Paul visited Peter 15 days in Jerusalem in Galatians 1. Paul also mentions that Peter is the pillar of the church from Galatians 2. They collectively go to the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. Peter was eating with the Gentiles until the Jews came in began to separate from the 8 | Page
Gentiles because he was afraid he would be judged by the Jews. Paul calls him out. 2 Peter was a letter written to former Jews as Paul was their apostle. Paul acknowledges that Peter was the apostle to the Jews, much to his regret because that’s what he really wanted to do, but he instead because the apostle to the Gentiles. Here in verse 15, Peter mentions that Paul also wrote them a letter. This is a suggestion that Peter viewed the epistle to the Hebrews as authored by Paul. In verse 16, Peter mentions that as he did in some of his letters some of things are difficult to understand. What is interesting is that Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10 are the two most difficult chapters of all of the epistles to understand. It is suggestive of Peter is supportive of Paul’s authorship of Hebrews. Peter continues, you therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. You grow in grace by spending time in the Word, and spending time with the Lord. That you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? – 2 Peter 3:2-4 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. – 2 Peter 3:18
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