2 PETER

Epistle of 2nd Peter – 2nd Peter was written somewhere around 67 AD, shortly before Peter’s martyrdom in Rome

2nd Peter was written somewhere around 67 AD, shortly before Peter's martyrdom in Rome. It is [one of] the most controversial book of the New Testament because a wide variety of scholars deny its authenticity [Jude is also very controversial and easily the Book of Revelation is the most controversial book in the N.T. and probably the whole Bible for that matter]. There is no real mention of it before the early 3rd century [200's] and Origen {of Alexandria, Egypt} (185~254 A.D.), who accepted it, while admitting that others did not. Ultimately, Christians can rely on the epistle as a matter of faith, for in a biblical worldview it is unthinkable that God could not protect the Scriptures sufficiently to avoid a spurious epistle's inclusion. - [Note: 2nd Peter probably didn't get circulated as much as 1st Peter, the letters of Paul and some of the other N.T. letters did - the book of Jude was not a widely circulated letter. - Also Note: the lesser circulated epistles; Philemon, II John, and III John all missed out on some early N.T. Bible canonization -- i.e. Didymus the blind {of Alexandria, Egypt} (A.D. 313~398 A.D.) who was a celebrated head of the catechetical school at Alexandria {Egypt} - Source: http://www.ntcanon.org/Didymus.shtml] [link]

Background of Second Peter – The theme of 2 Peter is summarized by the word ‘knowledge’ which occurs twelve times in the [short] letter – In a letter which fights false teaching, the greatest weapon is a knowledge of the truth

Occasion: There was persecution from the outside of the church as well as false teachers within the church. Peter grounds his hearers in the authoritative word of God given not by the will of man but by the Holy Spirit. Armed with the word of God these believers were to refute the false teachers. Peter in his later years writes to the churches of Asia Minor and warns, encourages and instructs them in light of Christ's second coming. The readers must consider the second coming of Christ as an historic fulfillment of the progress of God's plan and not simply another crystal ball by which men could know the future for personal and selfish gain. [link]

2 Peter 1 – Where 1st Peter was written more with Christian conduct, holiness and maturity in view the second letter, 2nd Peter was written more with Christian endurance and the eventual End Times in view — ‘2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power [supernatural, the resurrection power – Dunamis, G1411] and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but [as Disciples and Apostles] were eyewitnesses of His majesty.’

2 Peter 1:16-21 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 [to actual events] of His majesty. For He [Jesus] received from God the Father Honor 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. ***And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the Holy Mount [the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:1-2]. ***We have also a ***more sure word of Prophecy [O.T. and N.T. both containing 1st Coming (i.e. Simeon in Luke 2:26) and 2nd Coming prophecies (i.e. Jude 1:14)]; ***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 [the early morning resurrection of Jesus Christ] in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [from the prophet]. 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 [Spirit] Ghost. - Note: Prophecy came not as an idea or as an inkling from men but as the deliberate (Epignosis, G1922 - strong, experiential, deliberate Knowledge from God above). The prophecies in the Bible were written without private interpretations from the prophets themselves but the Bible itself including the prophecies are for our own individual private interpretations. We are all free in the presence and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to interpret the 'Living Scriptures' [2 Timothy 1:10, 2 Timothy 3:16] and apply them to our own individual lives as Jesus the 'Daylight Star' arises in our own heart to guide us into His decisions regarding His Kingdom the eternal Kingdom of God.

2 Peter 2 – The Apostle Peter points out that the Christian Church is always going to have to contend with false doctrines and false teachers just as the Jews themselves had to contend with false prophets in their midst — ‘2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people [in O.T. times], even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [privately, secretly, behind closed doors] shall bring in damnable heresies, *even denying the Lord [Jesus] that bought them [paid with His blood for our sins], and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom The Way of Truth [Christianity] shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise [selling blessings or ministry items] of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.’

2 Peter 2:18-21 For when they [merchandisers] 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. **While they promise them [followers] liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: ***for of whom a man is overcome, ***of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge [knowledge from above, Epignosis, G1922] of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the [lost salvation] latter end is worse with them than the [unsaved] beginning. **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 [love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40)] delivered unto them. - Note: To turn from God is to reject Salvation. Peter is alluding to the fact that often people first turn away from God subtly, being allured away by even slightly turning towards other people [often they end up being unscrupulous people], ministries, events or items and then having been lured away from Jesus being gradually overcome having lost focus of the Truth of Jesus Christ. The safety of our soul is in Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ alone so we do need to be diligent and faithful to keep the Truth and Light of Jesus Christ always shining brightly before us.

2 Peter 3 – The Apostle Peter begins to close his second and last epistle with a warning that eventually the earth is going to be judged again and at the Command of God all physical things will perish in a ‘fervent heat’ — ‘2 Peter 3:1-5 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the Holy Prophets, and of the Commandment [love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40)] of us the Apostles of the Lord and Savior [Jesus Christ]: Knowing this first, that **there shall come in the Last Days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His [return, 2nd] coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant [the earth has not continued unchanged but has had radical changes (flood of Noah) and will continue in the Book of Revelation to have more radical changes] of, that by the [Command] Word of God the heavens [skies] were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water …’ {Note: The original earth of creation was flooded in the flood of Noah by the Command judgment of *water from God – now the earth is currently being judged this time by the *blood and cross of Jesus Christ and with the Testimony of the Holy *Spirit (1 John 5:6-9) – and finally for those who reject the water and the blood and the Holy Spirit the earth will again be judged a final time by judgment and destruction in *fire.}

The Bible's book of 2nd Peter concludes: 2 Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was [before Noah], being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store [by the blood of Jesus Christ], reserved unto fire against the day of [final] judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 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 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. 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 [of man] that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these [physical] things shall be dissolved, ***what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, ***Looking for and hasting [keeping busy] 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 [coming judgment of fire]? Nevertheless *we, according to His promise, **look for new heavens and a new earth, ***wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. ... 2 Peter 3:17-18 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. *But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.

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