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2 Peter 1-3

by Chuck Smith

Second Peter.

Simon Peter (1:1),

The name Simon, of course, was the given name. Peter is the name that Jesus gave to him. He is,

a bondslave and an apostle (1:1)

It seems that bondslave was first, apostle second.

of Jesus Christ, writing to those that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (1:1):

So Peter identifies himself as the writer. He is writing to those who have received “like precious faith” and that word “precious” again; big, old, rough, tough Peter and yet this word seems to be one of his favorite words.

Grace and peace be multiplied through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord (1:2),

Grace and peace, typical greetings. But here Peter is praying really that they be multiplied. And how are they multiplied? The more you know God, the more you know Jesus Christ, the more you experience and are blessed by the grace of God and as the result, experience the peace of God. Grace and peace be multiplied. How? Through your knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. Oh God is so gracious and you need to know Him so that you might know His grace towards us. So “grace and peace be multiplied through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”

According as his divine power he has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory [or by glory] and virtue (1:3):

Now God has supplied unto us everything that we need to live a successful Christian life. God really doesn’t have to do any more for us; no extra work is necessary. God has given unto us all that pertains to a spiritual life, a life of godliness, and this abundance for this life comes to us again through the knowledge of God. How important that you come to know God. And how can you come to know God? There’s only one resource book by which you can get a true understanding of God and that’s the Bible. Your knowledge of God must come through God’s revelation of Himself.

You see, if I develop what I feel God must be like, then I think of myself in my most ideal form and I project that as God. But that comes short. So I cannot accept man’s understandings or revelations of God. They’re all centered around that man’s own personality and ideals. It is important that my understanding and revelation of God come from Himself, from His revelation of Himself. And of course, the most complete revelation came through Jesus Christ, “God, in sundry times and in divers ways spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but hath in these last days spoken unto us by His own dear Son” (Hebrews 1:1,2).

So through Jesus Christ I come to a knowledge and an understanding of God. And as I come to the knowledge and understanding of God, I grow in grace. And as I come to the knowledge and understanding of God, I find that God has given unto me everything that I need for this life, for a life of godliness. So he has called us by His glory and virtue,

And he has given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature (1:4),

And again, the word of God brings me the knowledge of God. The word of God helps me to then partake of the divine nature. The seed that brought me into spiritual life by which I was conceived spiritually was the word of God. Jesus said, “A man went forth to sow. Some of the seed fell by the wayside” and so forth. He said, “now the seed is the word”(Luke 8:11). It brings forth spiritual life. In the word are exceeding rich and precious promises and this brings a conformity to the divine nature. We need to make a thorough, complete study of the word of God. You cannot get too much of it.

And the amazing thing that I’ve discovered about this Book is that every time I read it, there is something new, there is something fresh that ministers to my spirit. It never grows old. I never think, Oh, I’ve read that before or, Oh, I know that. For as I read it prayerfully and carefully, I find that the Spirit opens up a new vista of truth that I had never discovered before. It’s a Book that is constantly unfolding its beauty unto my heart as I read it as I come to know God as I grow in that grace through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ.

Now these rich and precious promises, you know I think that you can find a promise of God that is adaptable for every kind of a circumstance that you might be facing. No matter what your problem is, there is a promise to match the problem, a promise that speaks to that problem. A promise of God’s help or God’s deliverance or God’s provision, God’s strength, whatever it is that you might need, God has given to us exceeding rich and precious promises that we are to lay hold of and we are to claim. And by these we become partakers of the divine nature.

having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (1:4).

There is the source of the corruption in the world. We live in a world that is really messed up, a world that is corrupt. And what is at the heart of the corruption? The lust of man. The greed. But we’ve escaped that, thank God, through the knowledge of God and through the word of God and by partaking of the divine nature. How important it is that we constantly feed on the word of God because it is the word of God that feeds the spiritual man.

Now there is the fleshly side of me, there is the spiritual side of me. I always take care to feed the fleshly side of me. It makes its demands. About 5:30 or so in the evening, the fleshly side of me begins to make its demands. And so I take care of it. I see that it is fed. I try to see that I have a well-balanced diet. That I get a proper balance of the grains, of the vegetables, of the fruits, of the green leafy vegetables, the yellow vegetables, and so forth, so that I can be strong physically. I like to eat a well-balanced dinner. I like to have a well-balanced diet. I grew up on it. If we would take as much care to feed the spiritual man as we do the physical man, how strong we would be spiritually. If we would make sure that we had a well-balanced spiritual diet.

But you see, too many times we just get into that book that I really, well, I’ll read a psalm tonight because it’s really short, you know. And I appease my conscience, you know, “well I read the Word today”. But I really didn’t feed on the Word. It’s important that we go through the Word, that we have a well-balanced diet. It brings to us the knowledge of God. It brings us into the partaking of the divine nature.

And so beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith moral strength or moral courage (1:5);

The word “virtue” means one who stands in the face of opposition. One who doesn’t run from the battle.

and to virtue knowledge; And to your knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love (1:5-7).

Now if these were rungs on a ladder that you were climbing, at which rung are you presently standing? Are you growing? Are you developing in your spiritual walk in life? In looking back, have you progressed this past year? Have there been real spiritual gains made in your life? Or are you just sort of treading water? Running on a treadmill? Maintaining?

The Bible doesn’t encourage us really to just maintain. It encourages us to grow, to develop, to add to our “faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge”. To develop and experience the growth. And I would encourage you to look at your own life. Where are you standing? Where are you going? What are your spiritual goals?

For if these things be in you (1:8),

Godliness, brotherly kindness, love, “if these things be in you,”

and abound, they make you that you will neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:8).

Your life will begin to really bring forth fruit. Sometimes people come and they say, you know, I feel so dry spiritually. Quite a witness against yourself, you haven’t been growing, you haven’t been diligent, “adding to your faith virtue; and to your virtue knowledge; and to your knowledge temperance”; and all. If these things are in you, if they abound in you, you’ll never be barren or unfruitful. Your life will be filled with the knowledge and the understanding of our Lord by which the grace and the love and the peace will be multiplied in your life.

But if you lack in these things (1:9)

Go down the list again. If you’re lacking in patience; in temperance, which is moderation; if you’re lacking in love or brotherly kindness; then you’re blind, spiritually blind to your real condition and your real need.

You know, it’s a tragic thing that sin has its effect of numbing the senses of man. Our consciences can be deadened by repeated sin. You know the first time you did it, you felt so horrible. It bothered you. You really wrestled with it. And it was just miserable and you felt miserable. But you finally sort of got over and eased out of it. But the next time you did it, you didn’t feel quite so badly about it. Until now, you can do it without even a wince. The numbing effect of sin.

That is, of course, one of the deadly characteristics of drugs is the first thing they attack is your will. And they destroy your willpower so that a person can easily become addicted to drugs because they attack that part of your body or make-up that would resist doing such a thing. And destroying your willpower, you then become its victim.

Sin is much the same way. It is blinding. It brings to you shortsightedness; that is, we lose the sense of the eternal. And that is always dangerous when we lose the sense of the eternal. We cannot see afar off. We only see the immediate advantage. We only see the temporary gain but we don’t take eternity into our consideration. And the moment you leave out the eternal, you have lost the perspective for life, you’ve lost the sense of good judgment and you’re apt to do foolish things because you don’t have eternity in view. May God ever keep in the forefront of our minds the consciousness of eternity and the fact that we stand on the threshold of eternity every day.

None of us know when we’re going to take that step. And yet we plan as though we are going to be here forever. But how many are like that rich man of which Jesus spake when He said, "He said, I am rich, I’m increased with goods, I have need of nothing. And the Lord said, Thou fool, this night your soul can be required of you” (Luke 12:18-20). He was laying up his plans. I’m going to tear down my barns, build bigger, and so on. This night, it’s all over. We live on the border of eternity. And we need to have that in our minds. What is the eternal value? What is the eternal effect?

Oh, it may have a temporary value for us. It may bring us excitement for right now but what’s it doing for me eternally? It may seem to be the proper or the exciting thing to do right now, but what about the eternal? And when we lose sight of eternity, we become

blind, we cannot see afar off, and we soon forget that we’ve been purged, we’ve been washed from those old sins. So give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you will never fall (1:9-10):

Now there are always those who are questioning the security of the believer. And yes, the believer is secure. “If you do these things, you’ll never fall.” If you are adding to your faith virtue; and to your virtue knowledge; and to your knowledge temperance; if you do these things, you’re never going to fall. You’re moving on towards Him.

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (1:11).

What kind of an entrance you going to have into heaven? Just barely squeak in. There used to be a song and I hated it; “If I can just make it in”. And I thought that it was reflective of the attitude of too many people. You know, if I can just make it in, that’s all, man, just make it in. That’s all I want. I want to have an abundant entry into the kingdom of God. You know, I don’t want to just run the race and hope to finish the race. I want to win the race. “Know ye that they which run in a race run all, but only one receives the prize. So run, that you might obtain” (1 Corinthians 9:24). This lackadaisical attitude towards the Christian walk and life is a curse to so many people within the church. Peter here encourages you towards the abundant entrance into the kingdom, the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Wherefore [Peter said] I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth (1:12).

Now I know you know these things, Peter said. But I want to remind you. There are things which we as Christians it seems need constant reminding, certain areas. It’s easy to just begin to slough off and to become careless or indifferent. And so there are areas where we need constant exhortation, constant prodding, constant reminders. And Peter is saying, I know you know these things but I want to bring them to your memory again.

And then he said,

Yes, I think that it is necessary, as long as I am in this tabernacle [or in this tent], to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I’m going to move out of this tent, even as the Lord Jesus Christ has showed me (1:13-14).

So Peter referring to this body as a tent which is New Testament Scripture; as long as I’m in this tent, that is, in this body, I think it’s necessary that I remind you of these things, and I’m going to be moving out of this body pretty soon because the Lord has showed me. And thus, really writing them to you so that even after I’m gone you’ll still be reminded. Purpose of the letter, to write these important things that they might be continually reminded of them and even after he’s gone they will have the reminders as they read the letter.

I like the idea of thinking of this body as a tent because a tent is never thought of in a term of permanent dwelling place. It’s always looked upon as something temporary, ready to move on or move out of. Good for a couple weeks’ vacation but living in a tent can get tiring, good to get back in the house, the conveniences of the house. Now we are told that when this tent is dissolved, that “we have a building of God, that is not made with hands, that’s eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Peter said, I’m going to be moving out of my tent pretty soon, even as the Lord has shown me.

Moreover I will endeavour that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For [Peter said] we haven’t followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty (1:15-16).

I think that we need to at least consider the possibility that these were cunningly devised fables. That these fellows conspired together, sat down, developed the story, rehearsed the story, and then sought to spread the story. Because the moment you take that into consideration, you see how ludicrous it becomes, and you can see that it could not be a cunningly devised fable because too many people have examined it and studied it thoroughly. That if there were just a cunningly devised fable, there would have been the flaws that could have been discovered and the whole thing discarded long ago. You see, there’s not one stone in this whole story that hasn’t been examined carefully, turned over, studied every aspect of it.

If it were just a cunningly devised fable, then you could not explain its power to change men’s lives so dramatically, the power of the Gospel. And we see witnesses of the power of the Gospel all around us in lives that have been transformed. A cunningly devised fable couldn’t do that. Peter said, “But we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory declaring, 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 (1:17-18).

Now Peter was taken with James and John up into a high mountain by Jesus. And there He was transfigured before them and they saw Him in His transfigured glory with Moses and Elijah appearing and talking unto Him. And then when the disciples looked up again, Moses and Elijah had disappeared and Jesus only was standing there. “And then there came that voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5). You see, they had heard the law, they had heard the prophets. And now God is saying, listen to my Son. “God who at sundry times spoke to our fathers in divers ways by the prophets hath in these last days spoken by his own dear Son.” “This is my Son, hear ye Him.”

The law came by Moses; grace and truth by Jesus Christ. And so Peter said, We heard the voice, we saw, we were eyewitnesses.

But we have 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 (1:19),

Now this prophecy, the word of God is like a light that is shining in a dark place until the day dawns. During the nighttime, yet you have a light to guide you. Through the darkness of human history there is a light to guide us until that day that is prophesied does dawn,

and the day star comes, arises, even Jesus Christ (1:19): So this sure word of prophecy, one of the strongest apologetics for the Scripture, of course, is the area of prophecy. The fact that the Scriptures prophesied so many things that have all come to pass and the prophecies were one hundred percent accurate. I mean, all you’d have to do is fail in one prophecy and and the whole thing could be discredited. That’s why delving into the field of prophecy is so precarious. You want to become a prophet, it’s a lot easier to become a false prophet than a true prophet cause you may give ninety-nine true prophecies in a hundred; might miss, tough, you’re a false prophet. Oh, but I got ninety-nine right. Yeah, but you missed one. I mean, it requires a hundred percent accuracy.

There are people who are blinded by religious fervor who are willing to overlook the fact that Joseph Smith said that the moon was made out of cheese. And that the Jehovah Witnesses predicted that Jesus was coming in 1917 and then later in 1925. A sure word of prophecy. It’s a dangerous subject to go out on a limb and because the word of God, it’s there. It ventures into that field. That’s because God spoke.

Now, no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation (1:20).

I am not amused at many of the private interpretations people get for Scriptures. Some special revelation that no one has ever seen before and God has given to me, you know. I don’t think that I have ever discovered any new truth. Someone said, ”Is that the honest truth?” Well, if it’s true, it’s honest. There’s no Scripture for private interpretation.

But the prophecy in the old time did not come by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (1:21).

And so here we find the word of God attesting to the inspiration of the Scriptures. As Paul writing to Timothy said, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). Now this is one of those points that Satan is constantly attacking. There are three basic areas where Satan is constantly assailing. One is the word of God. The second is the deity of Jesus Christ. And the third is the work of the Holy Spirit. And Satan is constantly attacking these three things.

The word of God: “Hath God said?” And he continues to attack the word of God. And because this is one of the fields of his attacks, as Peter here mentions that the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is only natural that he now turns to warn us against the false teachers that will come along in the last days. And one of the main premises of these false teachers is that the word of God is not inspired. That it is the fallible word of men. Or that it is so interspersed with man’s concepts and man’s ideas that in places it becomes unreliable. So “holy men wrote as they were inspired of the Holy Spirit.” But even in the Old Testament times, there were false prophets.

At the time of Jeremiah there were false prophets that were telling the king that he was going to prosper, that he was going to defeat the enemy. Jeremiah gave to the king the true prophecy. The king didn’t want to hear Jeremiah. These false prophets made fun of Jeremiah. The one made a set of horns and went running around and said, So the king is going to push the enemies out of the land and all. And they were prophesying, “Peace, peace,” when there was no peace.

Chapter 2

False prophets have always been around. Now they don’t wear signs, “I’m a false prophet”. They come in sheep’s clothing. They look like sheep. They come sometimes dripping with love and phrases of love. And a lot of times you listen to them and say, “Boy, they’re good. They really speak a lot of truth”. And that’s why they are able to deceive. If a false prophet only said false things, no one would be deceived by them. But usually what they say is ninety-five percent true. And thus they entice people and deceive people because most of what they say is true, but then they begin to interject that area of falsehood.

So there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction (2:1).

False teachers who will even deny the Lord. There are those who claim to be ministers who fill the pulpits in the United States who deny the deity of Jesus Christ, “even denying the Lord who bought them.” Willing to put Jesus in the category of a master teacher or of a great prophet or whatever. But they deny the Lord that bought them.

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (2:2).

It sort of is heartbreaking that whenever any antichrist, anti-god kind of legislation or anything comes along, and the papers are making their interviews of the ministers to get their opinions of it, they can always find some Unitarian minister or Disciples of Christ minister or something who take an anti-god, antichrist position. And they are the ones that they’re always seeking to exploit, you know, to make it look like, you know, the ministers are even in favor of this bit of vicious legislation that would open the door to pornography because you know some reverend said it. You know, he thought it was healthy and all for people to be able to examine. I just; well God’s going to take care of them. But they like to put down those who just plainly declare the truth of God as being ignorance and unlearned and all. Well, so be it.

And through covetousness shall with feigned [or deceitful] words make merchandise of you (2:3):

The true shepherd wants to feed the flock of God; the false teacher wants to fleece the flock of God. And they have developed so many gimmicks to fleece the flock of God. And of course, the latest is the computerized personalized letters. “You’ve been on my heart of late. The Lord woke me up this morning and I was praying for you. Is there something wrong? Please tell me why is it that I feel so disturbed about you lately. Why don’t you write and let me know so that I can pray for you even more. And please enclose a gift, you know, so that I can carry on this ministry that God has given to me”. “With feigned words, deceitful words, they seek to make merchandise of you.”

They buy mailing lists and then send out these letters, like they, you know, were your long lost cousin you haven’t seen in ten years. And that you’ve been just a burden on their heart lately. And oh how they love to come right into your home and sit down with you and share with you but you’re so busy, you, they know that you wouldn’t have time for them.

 And I don’t know if I’m going to make it through chapter two. I just wonder, though, how this must hurt the heart of God to be so misrepresented by man. You know that upsets me and hurts me and I’m not the, you know, purest person in the world, but if these things so disturb me, how much more must they disturb God to be thus represented by man, as a charlatan, as a crook, as a deceiver, as a conniver, as a moneygrubber, covetous. They’ll use these feigned, deceitful words to make merchandise of you or merchandisers of you. Beware of anybody who wants to put you out on the street corner selling magazines or flowers or dolls or whatever so that the money can all go to their fund. The Messiah Moon has kids selling peanuts in parking lots, making merchandise of people.

We were in a restaurant back in Indiana and this kid came in late at night, it was after service and we were getting a bite to eat, and this kid came in and he had these little teddy bears that clip on, you know. And he wanted to, you know, he was a fast talker, smooth talker, and going to pin him on everybody you know and here I want to give, you know, here have one of these, you know, I want to give you one. And then, of course, having pinned it on you and wanting to give it to you, then he wanted a donation. And I said, “Are you related to, you know who is this for? And some youth thing you know, Youth Mission downtown.” I said, “Is it related to Moon’s ministry?” “Oh no, no, no.” I said, “Are you sure?” “Oh yes, it’s not related to Moon.” Oh we kept talking and pretty soon, it was related. Just a liar. But he had been, you know, they made a merchandiser out of him. They were using the kid to go out at night and sell these things for their profits.

Peter said,

whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (2:3-4),

And the word there is “Tartarus”, the lowest hell.

and delivered them into the chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment (2:4);

Now who are these angels that sinned who were cast down to Tartarus? Well, we know that Satan isn’t there yet and that many angels that rebelled with Satan are not yet incarcerated but are working with him in his nefarious deeds.  We are told in the book of Revelation that Satan was cast out of heaven and drew a third part of the stars with him. Many Bible commentators believe that these angels are the ones, who in Genesis nine began to cohabit with men. “And the sons of God saw the daughters of men” (Genesis 6), “saw the daughters of men that they were fair” and all, and that these angels who kept not their first state are being reserved there in the chains in Tartarus.

If God 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; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those who afterwards should live an ungodly life (2:5-6); Now there is a lot of deception. As we pointed out, man who is living an ungodly life is blind. He cannot see afar off; he becomes nearsighted. He looses his sight of the eternal. And because God is merciful and longsuffering and patient, man often misinterprets this longsuffering of God as weakness or as blindness on God’s part or as, God forbid, approval by God of what I’m doing. If God didn’t like what I’m doing, why didn’t He wipe me out, you know? It’s a mistake. And people begin to think that God has withdrawn Himself. That God is just letting things go on. That God really doesn’t care what’s happening.

But Peter points out that God has brought His judgment in the past, the angels which are cast down to Tartarus. The old world before Noah’s time, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and that they are examples to those who would want to live an ungodly life. Your Day of Judgment is coming. You’re not going to get by with it. Though you may get by for a time, there is a day of reckoning coming and it’s a warning to man that one day there will be a day of reckoning and you’re going to answer for the things that you’ve done and are doing.

Now when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah,

He did deliver just Lot (2:7),

He saved Noah. He saved Lot. Lot who was,

vexed with the filthy manner of living of the wicked around him (2:7):

Or the filthy behavior of the wicked.

(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, his righteous soul was vexed from day to day with their unlawful or ungodly deeds) (2:8);

When you read about things like West Hollywood voting their own city government, does it vex you? When you read of the things going on in San Francisco, does it vex you? When you read of some of the things happening in our own community, does it vex you the way people are living? If it doesn’t vex you, then you’re in bad shape. It means that you’ve become perhaps calloused, not sensitive in spirit anymore. And that could very well be because of the looseness of the guard that we have over our mind.

You know it’s tragic that many Christian homes have brought filth into the homes through the video, through VCR units or through cable TV or some of these select types and have brought into their homes all kinds of filth, whereby our minds being glutted with the filth, we no longer are vexed by the way people live around us. We just sort of become tolerant to the evil of our society rather than being vexed, having just being moved by the evil that is around us. God help us. God bring us to a purity.

I wonder how many of you have been to an R-rated movie in the last month. What pollution you’ve sown into your mind. Don’t you realize that God isn’t deceived? “Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). And if you sow to the flesh, of the flesh you’re going to reap corruption. You can’t escape it. God isn’t mocked. There is a law of nature, of sowing and reaping in kind. And you sow that kind of stuff in your mind, you’re going to begin to reap it in your life. You can’t escape it.

Lot was vexed by the way they were living as he saw their unlawful deeds. But God delivered him before the judgment came because

God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished (2:9):

And even so, God’s Day of Judgment is coming very soon and those that are walking with the Lord, vexed by the evil of the world will be delivered before the Day of Judgment comes. God knows how to deliver the righteous.

I cannot, I cannot accept that the church will be here during the Great Tribulation when God’s wrath and judgment is poured out upon the world for its unrighteousness. When God punishes the world for its unrighteous living, I cannot accept the fact that the church will be here. I cannot believe that. The Lord knows how to deliver the righteous. And the whole story of Lot, when the Lord was going down to destroy Sodom and they stopped by and visited with Abraham. And Abraham’s basic argument was, “Will not the Lord of the earth be fair? Would you punish the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous?” And the whole premise of the argument is that when God’s judgment comes, God will not punish the righteous with the wicked. And thus when God’s judgment and punishment comes upon this cursed world, He’s going to take first, as He took Lot out of Sodom, He’s going to take His children out of this earth. “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of the temptations, but to reserve the unjust to be punished.”

But chiefly [those to be punished are those] that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, they despise government. They’re presumptuous, they’re selfwilled, and they’re not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusations against them before the Lord. But these, as natural beasts, are made to be trapped and destroyed, and they speak evil of things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption (2:10-12);

The false teachers, what things Peter has to say.

And they shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. But they are spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; They have eyes that are full of adultery, they cannot cease from sin; they are beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practice; they’re cursed children: And they have forsaken the right way, and they’ve gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with a man's voice forbade the madness of the prophet (2:13-16).

Now here speaking of these false teachers, he is so descriptive that really no commentary is necessary, except perhaps on the way of Balaam who was using his gift for his own personal profit. Being covetous of the rewards offered by the king, he prostituted the gift that God had given to him, loving the wages of unrighteousness.

Now these men are wells without water, they are clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, and through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. And 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 into bondage (2:17-19).

Quite a powerful Scripture. “By whom a man is overcome,” if you’re overcome by a false prophet, then you are “brought into bondage by them” 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. 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 (2:20-21).

Knowledge is responsibility. Once you’ve come to the knowledge of truth, you are responsible. Better really not to know. Jesus in Luke’s gospel chapter twelve spoke about that servant who was given a position of overseeing his master’s goods while the master went to a far country, and when the master didn’t return, when the servant was expecting him, he said, “My Lord delays his coming”(Luke 12:45). And he began to abuse his position, mistreating the other servants, beating them and all. And the master came in an hour when he wasn’t expecting him. And he said, “Bind him up and cast him out. Give him his portion with the unbelievers”. For he who knew the will of God and did not accordingly, Jesus said, ”will be beaten with many stripes though he who knew the will of God or knew not the will of God yet did things worthy of many stripes will be beaten with few”. For whom, to whom much is given, much is required. To whom little given, little required (Luke 12:42-48). Knowledge is responsibility. I mean, God holds you responsible for what you know.

It’d be better off to have never known than to know it and then to turn away. To know the truth and then to turn away from the truth puts you under a great jeopardy because now you are responsible. It isn’t sinning ignorantly. It is knowingly. For if after, it would better -- okay.

But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit; and the pig that was washed to her wallowing in the mire or the mud (2:22).

Chapter 3

Now Peter said 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 of us the apostles and of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, who are walking after their own lusts (3:1-3),

So he’s warned us concerning the false teachers that are going to arise. Now in the last days also there will be scoffers, and the scoffers are going to be ridiculing the idea of the coming again of Jesus Christ. They’re going to be,

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 (3:4).

That is a very clear articulation of the theory of Uniformitarianism. The theory upon which the evolutionary theory was built. “All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” Uniformitarianism. So that anything that is happening today or anything that has happened in history can be explained by things that are happening today. There’s a uniform pattern by which things take place and have always taken place from the beginning of creation. And Uniformitarianism really denies any great cataclysmic judgments or changes. And of course, that whole concept was really shaken by Emmanuel Villakosky in his books, Worlds in Collision and Earths in Upheaval. And he gives damning evidence to prove that the whole concept of Uniformitarianism is not valid.

Peter said there will be scoffers who will say, Where is the promise of His coming? Things have just going on as they were from the beginning.

But this they are willingly ignorant of (3:5),

In other words, they had closed their mind to this truth that there has been cataclysmic catastrophes that have happened upon the earth. And one of these cataclysmic catastrophes was the great flood of Noah’s time. And the great flood of Noah’s time gives a far more reasonable explanation of fossils than does the concept that they were gradually laid down over several periods of eons, or geological eras, gradually depositing these various fossil forms in the various geological structures, because we have difficulty in Uniformitarianism showing any development of fossil forms today. Fossils aren’t being formed on the ocean beds today. They had to be formed by some catastrophic cataclysmic upheaval in nature where suddenly a great deal of sediment was laid down quickly under pressure. Fossilize it, setting them within the sediment. You don’t see it happening today.

The flood explains the fossils. But they are willingly 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: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished (3:5-6):

That God did bring cataclysmic judgment. That God did not stand aloof from His creation. That God did not just start things going and then step back and watched them in their evolutionary development. But that God has had an active hand in His creation and has continued to have an active hand in creation.

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of the judgment and the perdition of ungodly men (3:7).

So God is going to judge the world again. Not with a flood, not with a universal flood; but the next judgment will be a fiery judgment of God upon the earth.

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 (3:8).

In other words, we live in time; God lives outside of time. Time is relative. God outside of time. A day is as a thousand years, a thousand years is as a day. That makes a very interesting look then at Hosea where he speaks about, and I doubt if I can find it real quick. I think it’s the second chapter if I remember. Hosea speaks about in sixth chapter. “Come, and let us return to the LORD: for he is torn, he will heal us; he is smitten, he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us” (Hosea 6:1-2).

This is the nation Israel and it’s the voice of the remnant in the last days. “Come, let us return to the Lord, he is torn, he will heal us, he is smitten, he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us. In the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight.” A day is as a thousand years to the Lord. It was just about two thousand years ago that Israel ceased to exist as a nation. Now they are being revived. “After two days he will revive us.” The third day lifted up. A thousand year millennial reign, the kingdom age, when Israel again becomes the center of the world. God governing from Israel. So “a day is as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day.”

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (3:9),

That is, the promise of the coming again of Jesus Christ.

as some men count slackness; but He’s longsuffering, and He’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (3:9).

And so the only reason why God hasn’t already set in motion the rapture of the church and the judgment of the world is His patience and His longsuffering, “He’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” And so this is just time that God has given men to get right with Him.

But in the days of Noah, God said, “My Spirit will not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3). There comes a time when even the patience and the longsuffering of God has been expended. And that day of opportunity of grace is over and a person will face the awesome wrath of God. So the scoffers will say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” You know I heard that from the time I was a kid. My grandmother used to and they would scoff at the idea of the coming of Jesus Christ. The rapture of the church. God isn’t slack concerning the promise to come and take us to be with Him. He’s just longsuffering, “He’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

But the day of the Lord will come [it will come] as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy manner of living or behavior and godliness (3:10-11),

This old world, this material world, this world of things is all going to burn. It’s all going to be dissolved. If the material world is to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in our behavior and in godliness?

As we look for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, the elements shall melt with a fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for the new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (3:12-13).

So this whole system is going to be dissolved. But we are looking for the new heaven, the new earth, the eternal kingdom of God.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And just account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation (3:14-15);

Just realize that God’s waiting is only allowing more people to be saved.

even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom that was given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all of his letters, speaking in them of the things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also other Scriptures, to their own destruction (3:15-16).

There are always those who are able to take and twist the Scriptures to accommodate the things they want to do. Whenever you twist the Scriptures to accommodate the level upon which you want to live, and if you decided to live on a low level and you try now to twist the Scriptures to accommodate that level, you are twisting them to your own destruction.

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 [in contrast] grow in grace, and in the knowledge (3:17-18)

Going back now to chapter one, the whole idea was the knowledge of God, the knowledge of Jesus our Lord. So “grow in grace, and in the knowledge”

of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen (3:18). Next week we start the first epistle of John. There are three reasons, four reasons why John wrote this epistle. I want you to find all four. There are six places where John points to Jesus as our example, “As He,” “Even is He.” I want you to find all six. There are seven false professions that man makes. “If a man says.” “If a man say.” I want you to find all seven. There are eight places whereby John tells us how we know what we know. “Hereby we perceive.” “Hereby we know.” I want you to find how you know what you know. False professions men make; Jesus our example; and the reasons why John wrote the epistle. So you would have to study it carefully to find out these things. I hope you have to read it at least twenty times to get them. Okay, you got those things now? 

All right, the reasons why he wrote it. He tells you. “These things write we unto you.” And he tells you why he writes them. And then he talks about Jesus, “As He,” or “Even as He.” Six examples of Christ where He is our example. Seven places where people make false professions, A man says one thing, he’s doing another. And then how we know what we know. For extra credit, he uses the word “know” I think thirty-nine times. If you go in the Greek I think forty-one, but translated “know” thirty-nine times. However, there are two Greek words: one is “ginosko”, which is to know by experience.

I may say to you “that stove plate is hot”. How do I know? I got a blister on my finger. I “ginosko”. I know by experience. I may say, “I know I’m right”. How do you know you’re right? I just feel it. That’s knowledge by intuition. That’s another Greek word, “eido”. I know a lot of things spiritually by intuition or the Holy Spirit has put the knowledge in my heart. I haven’t yet experienced it but I know it because of the intuition of the Holy Spirit within my heart, other things I know by experience. We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. I’ve experienced this transformation and it’s proved by my love for the brethren.

Now without knowing Greek, figure out in its context whether it’s the Greek word “ginosko”, knowledge by experience or “eido”, knowledge by spiritual intuition or by the Holy Spirit. You’ll find that that will be an extremely fascinating study. I would be curious as to how many of them you get right. I would say that you’ll get a lot more right than what you think. As you have to think it out, though. If you think it out, you can see. Oh yeah, yeah, that’s right. It’s sort of like a driver’s license test; it just takes some just common sense, stopping and figuring it out.

So that’s extra credit. First John, we’ll get started with it next week. Don’t guarantee how far we’ll go. We’ll just get started. But I can promise you some very fascinating things are going to happen in your life as you study this book. I’ll tell you the things that are going to happen next week. May the Lord bless you and cause you to grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May you increase in your understanding and knowledge of Him. May you be freed from that power of darkness, the corruption that is in the world through lust. And may you grow up in Him in all things, and strengthened. And may you increase day by day in His richness, in His love, in His grace, in His word. In Jesus’ name.

Chuck Smith

Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in 1965, with just twenty-five people.