The"American Wisdom Series"

Pamphlet #2619
2nd Peter chapter 1

How can one claim he or she knows the Living Word if he or she doesn't know the Written Word?

The 2nd Book of Peter was written by the same big old lovable fisherman, who was no doubt a disciple of John the Baptist (John. 1:35-42), and who Jesus surnamed Cephas, "which is by interpretation , a stone (John. 1:42)".

And he certainly was one of those "Lively Stones" which build up the temple of God that he spoke of in his first letter (1 Pet. 2:5).

Peter wrote this second letter to the very same folks to whom he wrote his first letter (2 Pet. 3:1), and that is to the "pilgrims", the "sojourners" of this flesh age, the scattered "strangers", i.e. God's elect.

And the reason he wrote it is made clear in chapter 3 in verses 1, 17 and 18, which is to stir up the minds of God's elect to remember what had been taught to them, to which end they might be saved from the errors and false doctrines now becoming prevalent and that they might grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:1-2
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: [2] 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:

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. [18] 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.

As we read the books of Peter, we discover that he has such a marvelous way of giving instruction, warning, and comfort to Christians.

His writings touch the depths of our Christian experience and yet he continually points us to the heights of our Christian hope, which is the glory to come at Christ's revealing.

And so it is in this second epistle.

Following his salutation (1:1-2), Peter earnestly exhorts us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:3-11), along with a reminder of the foundation from which this grace and knowledge is obtained (1:12-21).

Then in chapter 2 the false prophets and false teachers take a bold and brutal "thumping" from our beloved Mr. Rock.

But when we get to chapter 3 we are treated with a simple, clear, and essential explanation of the "Three World Ages", which are (1) "the world that then was (2 Pet. 3:6)", (2) the "world which is now (2 Pet. 3:7)", and (3) the "world which is to come (2 Pet. 3:13)".

Without this knowledge one could easily conclude that God is unjust and unfair, but with this knowledge the plan of God is magnified in purpose and splendor.

Finally, Peter explains that "these things", which the unlearned wrestle with, are also written of by the Apostle Paul in his epistles, which Peter calls "scriptures" (2 Pet. 3:16).

So study Paul's letters too is the implication in the exhortation to grow in grace and knowledge!

So with that basic introduction, let's begin.

2 Peter 1:1
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:
"... to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:" (NIV)

There is nothing as precious!

2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Did you read that?

Grace and peace are multiplied through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord!

The Written Word of God contains the knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[3] 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:
It is His Word that gives us "all things" that pertain unto life and godliness.

How can one claim he or she knows the Living Word if he or she doesn't know the Written Word?

But consider that there are many busy, active, Christians that do claim to know Him and yet they have no knowledge of the Written Word, and worse yet, they think they are in His good graces.

Matthew 7:22
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

[23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

He never knew them because they never knew Him!

They only knew of Him, and because they had no knowledge of the Written Word, they followed the traditions of men, which will get you nowhere fast!

2 Pet. 1:4
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.
Where do we find these "exceeding great and precious promises". In His Word, of course!

Do you know what they are?

The word "corruption" means "perishing", so if you are a partaker of the "divine nature" then you have the precious promise of eternal life at His coming, which is the first resurrection, and so the second death [perishing] has no power over you.

Rev. 20:6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
So for this reason, here is what you do:
2 Pet. 1:5
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
Note that there will be 7 "Ands" in this Polysyndeton (see appendix 6 in the Companion Bible). "7" in Biblical numerics is the number which denotes spiritual perfection or completeness (see appendix 10 in the Companion Bible). If you don't have a Companion Bible, consider getting one, for it will help do as Peter says, "add knowledge".

How serious are you?

So Peter tells us to be diligent and add virtue and knowledge.

How do you gain knowledge?

You work for it!

2 Tim. 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
And add the following too:
2 Pet. 1:6
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
Temperance is "self control", and patience is "stedfastness", and godliness is the "divine nature".
[7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
"And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)
[8] 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.
The "flip side" of which is: If you are too lazy [barren] to know the oracles of God, then you shall be unfruitful indeed, for how could you speak them as Peter instructed in 1 Pet. 4:11?
[9] But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Want to know who the "blind" leading the blind are?

They are those who are barren and unfruitful in the Word, i.e. are Biblically illiterate.

[10] Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
So give diligence to your Christianity.

Study His word and verse 2 shall come to pass and "Grace and peace [shall] be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Pet. 2:1).

You can't lose, Peter says!

It is your "ticket" to the everlasting Kingdom of God!

[11] For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Go for it!
Would you like to enter into the glorious Kingdom of God?

Did you know that man's chemical brain cannot even begin to imagine the splendor and magnificent adventures our Father has in store for us?

Paul documents it:

1 Cor. 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The word "heart" means "mind".

Have you ever considered that God has created His entire vast universe and that it awaits the "completeness" of sons of God who shall inherit it?

Unimaginable kingdom of adventures indeed!

But we must enter in at the strait gate (Luke 13:24).

So Peter told us "be diligent to make our calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:10).

And he's going to remind us in this 2nd epistle of "things" we should already be established in.

2 Peter 1:12
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 says we are going to hear it over and over again from Him.
[13] Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
"Yep", says Peter, "I think it's the right thing to do as long as I'm still breathing and 'walking under the sun', to 'fire you up' by reminding you of 'these things'."

He's about to tell us some more of "these things" in the next two chapters.

[14] Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
Did Peter know that He was going to die and not see the return of Christ in his natural lifetime?

Yes he did!

So don't let anyone tell you that he thought he was living in "the last days" just before the second advent.

The next verse profoundly documents that he knew others would be left to "carry on" after he died.

2 Pet. 1:15
Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
And he did "endeavour" and he, Peter the Big Fisherman, is still able to remind us to this very day.

He did it!

Glory be to God, but he did it!

[16] 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 wasn't making up tales or following cunningly devised fables [read traditions of men].

When he tells us of the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ he tells us from first hand experience.

Peter saw the transfiguration on the holy mount.

He witnessed Jesus Christ in all His majesty, along with Moses and Elijah, just to let us know that when John says we shall "be like Him", you can count on it!

Take Peter's word for it, he witnessed it, it's true!

1 John 3:2
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.
Peter continues with the account of the transfiguration.
2 Pet. 1:17 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.
Matthew records further details of Peter and James and John's experience in the 17th chapter of his book beginning in verse 1.

Here is the part Peter is referring to:

Matthew 17:5
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.
So Peter's "eyes not only saw" but his "ears heard" as well.
2 Pet. 1:18
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
And not only do we have an eyewitness account, but we have the Word of God, the prophecies of which foretold of Christ and the glory to come.
[19] 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:
Did we not read in verse 3 that according to His divine power He has given us all things that pertain to life [eternal] and godliness through knowledge of Him, which is to say His Word?

It is the "sure word" of that which is to come!

You can count on it!

Take heed unto it, Peter says, for therein you shall find the light!

And that light, the "day star", who is Jesus Christ, will rise and abide in your heart.

Rev. 22:16
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.
Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear?

Then "take heed" to the Word of God, Peter says, for the prophets of old have brought forth the light!

2 Pet. 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
This verse is often used to tell [chide] people that they can't understand prophecy "on their own".

What they really mean is that you can't have a level of understanding that is greater or different than the hierarchy of their church system.

So for example, if their church teaches the rapture theory, or that the tribulation will cause the near physical annihilation of the human race, then you'd better "interpret" prophecy to conform to their theories.

How dare you have a "private interpretation"!

But silly them, that is not what this verse says at all, and more than a few translations "publicly interpret it" properly (don't you just love it?).

It means that no prophecy came from anyone's own private thoughts or "expounding" as the verb form of epilusis, the Greek word for "interpretation", is so translated "expounded" in Mark 4:34.

Peter is simply saying that the Word of God isn't just the "writings of fallible, human, men", which is what we often hear the scoffers say today, isn't it?

But the Bible is truly from God, authored by the Holy Spirit which is His divine power!

Here are two Bible versions with the proper translation:

2 Pet. 1:20
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation." (NIV)

2 Pet. 1:20
"But you must understand this at the outset, that no prophecy of scripture arose from an individual's interpretation of the truth." (Phillips)

That also means that much of what the prophets wrote they probably did not understand, for as this verse explains and the next verse [2 Pet. 1:21] documents, the prophecies didn't come from their own "will" but from the Holy Spirit of God.

We know for sure Daniel didn't understand much of what he wrote because he said so.

Daniel 12:8
And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? [9] And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
So God spoke through His prophets whether they understood it or not, which is Peter's point.

It is God's Word, not man's:

2 Pet. 1:21
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.

Remember again verse 3?

It is by His divine power that we have the Word of God, not man's power.

2 Peter 1:3
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:
The Light is in His Word, which Peter just documented does not contain the cunningly devised fables of men.

Do you realize that when the Word of God was withheld from men that historians call that period the "Dark Ages".

Well, we are fast approaching the "Darkest Hour" in all of history when the "sun shall be blackened as sackcloth of hair (Rev. 6:12)", a figure of speech meaning the light of truth will no longer shine, and Satan himself will sit in the temple of God claiming that he is Jesus and shall deceive the whole world.

Will he deceive you?

Not if you listen to Peter and do well by "taking heed" unto the Word of God!

In chapter 2 Peter is going to talk about false prophets and false teachers who heed their own lusts and not the Word of God.

Get ready for an ear full!

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them {the ancient Israelites} for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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