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2nd Peter 1:1-11 2nd Peter 1:12-21
2nd Peter 2:4-22 2nd Peter 3:1-18

 

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2nd Peter 1:12-21

 

"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.  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as the Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.  Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.  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.  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.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  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:  knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they moved by the Holy Ghost." 

 

In Review

 

"Verse 12 in chapter 1 of 2nd Peter begins, "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."  Remember, he in writing this second epistle has certain things to say to us.  In chapter 3, verse 1 he says "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 of the Lord and Saviour." (verse 1-2)  So he says, he's reminding them of certain things.  He tells us in this first chapter that he's aware that his decease is close at hand.  He's ready to put off "this tabernacle," his physical body, he knows that he's come to the end of his earthly pilgrimage.  So there's an interesting passion in what he has to say.  He's going to warn them about false teachers, false doctrines, those who would mock the second coming of Jesus Christ, and boy is our nation filled with that these days.  He himself, knowing that the end of his earthly pilgrimage has come, is desiring to put them in remembrance of certain things.  And as he says "these things" he's already told them that 'there's great and precious promises given to us whereby we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that's in the world through lust.'  He tells us then that in our behavior, to add to our walk these certain things, that there would be the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, that we would be loving one another, brotherly kindness and charity ["charity" being God's agape-love].  And that those who have lost these things no longer have a perspective, they've forgotten that they were washed from their sin, they can't see afar off, they've forgotten where they're coming from and where they're going.  They no longer have the fact that they were saved by grace, washed in the blood of Christ, that they're no better than any other believer, that we all need the blood of Jesus, and they've forgotten what's afar off, what's ahead of them, where they're going.  But he says if we live a Spirit-filled life, with the fruit of the Spirit, if we give diligence to our calling and our election, if we do these things, he says, you will never fall, you'll never stumble.  "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (verse 11) 

 

Repetition Is A Great Teacher

 

"Wherefore" because of all of this, it's connecting it to what he said, "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." (verse 12)  He's not going to be negligent to put us in remembrance of certain things that we already know.  I don't know about you guys, but have you ever noticed, I assume you are like me, that sometimes you need to be told something more than once?  You know we say "Time is a great healer."  You know what we're really saying?  "As time goes on, we forget."  You have small children at home, 'I want you to go over there  now, and I want you to pick up those toys, and I want you to put them in the toy box, do you understand what I'm saying?'  And they walk away from you, and a bird, a butterfly flies by the window, and it's gone, you find them ten minutes later wandering around, looking out the windows, pushing their lips and nose on the glass, and you say to them 'What are you doing?'  "I don't know,' duh.  'What did I tell you to do?'  'I don't know.'  And then they grow up to be big [laughter].  And here we are.  And we have a problem, we forget the things that we want to remember, and we remember the things that want to forget.  You know there's people in your life where you want to forget 'em!  And you can't.  You think about them every day.  'I just want to forget what they did to me.  I just want to forget this happened.  I never want to think about that.'  You can't get rid of that.  Hide your car keys somewhere, your extra set, or your extra house keys, so that if you ever get locked out of your house you can get in.  You're out, man.  You'll never remember, because we, you know. [laughter]  Paul says 'Forgetting those things that are behind, I press towards the mark of the high calling of Christ.'  There's certain things that we want to let go of, and kind of jettison from our lives.  We are also told to remember the pit from whence we are dug and the rock from whence we were hewn, remember the origins, that we were saved by grace, certainly we are supposed to keep that in perspective.  And he says that here, they've forgotten that they were purged from their old sins (cf. verse 9).  So, remembrance is an interesting thing, there's certain things that we should remember, and certainly there's certain things 'forgetting those things that are behind, I press toward the mark of the high calling of Christ.'  So there's this process.  He understands that repetition is a great teacher, the educational system will tell you that.  And he says 'I'm not going to be negligent,' you know, just personally growing up under Chuck Smith, and listening to his tapes for years, he'll come to places and start something, and I can tell it from there, you can turn off the tape player and I can tell the rest of it, because I've heard it six or seven times through the Bible in different places, and I know.  But there's also a faithfulness about that.  There's certain points, we hear them over and over, we take for granted, and then we come into a situation, and we realize how important they are.  We were just away with the pastors and the elders for three days up in the mountains, praying, and eating, and laughing, but praying.  We weren't fasting and praying, we were eating and praying.  [Comment:  Calvary Chapel's are very semi-autonomous in church government style, but very loosely presbyterian, as their elders meet do meet from time to time, but more in the sense of spiritual fellowshipping, "iron sharpening iron" type get-togethers.  Other similar presbyterian types of church government are more rigid, such as United Church of God's, where a Council of Elders meets once or twice a year to vote on church issues, and a president is appointed to run day to day things at the church's headquarters.]  But you know, it's interesting, because you kind of rediscover everybody you work with.  It isn't that you've forgotten them, you know them.  He says that 'you know these things, you're established in them,' but you rediscover, you're reminded.  And when you sit that long before the Lord, you're reminded of certain things, what this is all about, 'Why am I doing what I'm doing?  Lord Jesus, that you're at the center of everything.'  And Peter says, because of this, there are certain things that are just important in the life of a believer, 'because of that,'  "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." (verse 12)  Being in remembrance and knowing them are two different things, evidently.  You already know them, and he says 'you're established in the present truth.'  It's interesting, remember Jesus, he had said to Peter, when Peter said, 'Lord, the rest of these guys may deny you, but you can count on me,' you know, that night at Gethsemane.  And the Lord said, 'You know, Satan has desired to sift you as wheat,' and it's plural there, "you, all of you guys", he looked at them.  But he says to Peter, 'I prayed for you, that you're faith doesn't fail,' and he says, 'When you're converted, when you're reestablished, strengthen your brethren.'  That's the word here "establish."  'Though you know these things and you're established in them,' the very charge that the Lord gave to him, 'that I'm putting you back in remembrance of them, that you stay established in them,' he is strengthening his brethren, just the way the Lord told him to do that.  And it's no big deal for him to repeat these things.  Paul said in Philippians, 'Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord, to write the same things to you, to me indeed, is not grievous, but for you it is safe.' Paul says in Philippians 3:1.   'To write the same things to you over again, it's not grievous to me, but for you it's safe, to be reminded of things, to be put in remembrance,' you know to have the same things.  It's interesting, in the Lord, there are certain things where he says 'I'm never going to forget these things,' and then I'm like, I'll go and hear Chuck [Smith] teach and I'll think, 'Why does he have to be reminding me of the things I said I would never forget, because I've forgotten that I needed to be reminded of again?'  You understand. 

 

Sometimes What Gets Us Going Again, Jump-Starts Us Again, Is To Be Reminded Of Something

 

He says 'I'm not going to be negligent to put you in remembrance of these things, though you already know them,' it doesn't say it's strange news, 'you're established in the present truth,' "Yea, I think it is meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance." (verse 13)  The idea is, it's fitting, 'it's proper, this is what I'm supposed to do,' "as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance."  'As long as I am here in this physical frame, it is the right thing for me to do, to stir you up, or to activate you.'  What he's saying is, sometimes what gets us going again, what jump-starts us again, is to be reminded of something.  And sometimes that's in a difficult circumstance.  Sometimes it's just another Christian or a radio show, or it's just we read a passage that we've been familiar with for a long time, and it comes when our heart is downcast, or when there's danger, or when somebody's mocking the truth, and it just jump-starts us, puts us in remembrance, it kind of jump-starts us again.  He says, it stirs us up.  That's the idea, to activate, to put into action, to cause motion, he says 'I think it's proper for me, as long as I am in this physical frame, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance of these things.'  Now it's interesting, because evidently he's remembering.  Because Jesus had said, 'I will shortly put off this tabernacle.'  It says that "the Word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us."  "Dwelt among us, tabernacled, to tent."  Peter, no doubt in his own mind, being reminded, stirred up.  He says 'I think that it's fitting as long as I'm in my tabernacle,' thinking of Christ in his physical frame, he says 'I'm in this tent, this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance,' looking at his physical frame, it's a tent, it's a tent he said.  And a tent, ultimately, is taken down, it's temporary.  And usually the reason you take down a tent, when you fold it up, is because you're done with it.  He says 'As long as I'm in this physical frame,'  "knowing" he says, now he knows something we don't know, "knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as the Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me." (verse 14)  Now you remember in the end of John's Gospel, Jesus walking with Peter and John, said to Peter, 'Peter, when you were young, you were impetuous, filled with vigor and life, you did whatever you wanted to do.   But when you're old, someone's going to lead you, you're going to spread out your hands, you're going to go where you don't want to go.'  And John says that 'Jesus said this signifying what manner of death he should die.'  And Peter was crucified upside down.  Of course Peter looked at John and said 'What about him, Lord?'  Just like us, you know.  'What does it matter to you if he tarries till I come?'  And then John said 'He didn't say I would tarry till he came, he said, 'What does it matter if he does?''  But it says now, Peter knows that that time is close.  John's Gospel hasn't been written yet.  So Peter's not thinking, 'Oh, it's John 21, it's John 21,' that's not what he's thinking.  [This is around 67AD when Peter wrote this.  John wrote his Gospel anywhere between 90AD and 100AD.]  He's thinking from the very words that fell from the lips of Jesus.  And somehow by the Holy Spirit, they've been enlivened by this.  He says "knowing that I shortly must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.  Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things in remembrance." (verses 14-15)  Speaking to us, "that you."  'I'm endeavoring that after my decease.'  Now he picks up another word from the Gospels, and I love Peter, because his own memory is filled with those memories of Christ.  You know, again, for him, he knows he's going to see Jesus soon.  For you and I, that's an interesting process.  We do that by faith.  Jesus calls us, and we step out of the boat onto the water.  For you and I we know one day we shall breathe our last in this world, close our eyes in this world and open our eyes in the next.  Or we'll be Raptured [their term for the 1st resurrection to immortality, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm].  Now if I had been Raptured several times, I'd be much more confident about the process, if I had passed through several times.  Peter, and he's going to tell us, saw Christ in his glory, in the glory of his Kingdom.  Peter stood with Jesus after his tabernacle, his body was resurrected from the tomb and talked with him.  Peter is looking forward to a reunion, looking forward to seeing an old friend face to face.  And he's thinking about what Moses and Elijah talked to Jesus about on the Mount of Transfiguration, which he's going to mention to us in a minute.  They talked to Christ about his decease, Luke says, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.  Now how do you "accomplish" a decease?  Doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment.  Just keep breathing and you're going to accomplish that.  Because the Greek word is exodus, Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus about the exodus he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.  And Peter says now, 'I am endeavoring,' he says, 'that you might be able after my exodus,' and that's the word, 'to have these things in remembrance.'  Peter says 'I'm not dying, I'm not bummed out about this, this tent, and that's all it is, I'm moving into a permanent dwelling, this has been all the while a temporary dwelling.'  And he said, 'When I leave it, I'm making an exodus,' just like the children of Israel left the bondage of Egypt, and they were set free, there was an exodus.  He says 'I'm about to make mine, I'm going to burst into the light, I'm going to burst into the freedom of an eternal state.'  [Comment:  And this will happen for Peter and all the "saved" dead at the time of the 1st resurrection to immortality, which Calvary Chapel folks refer to as the Rapture, to happen some time in the near future.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm to learn more about this.]  And he said, 'But when I'm gone, I want you to have these things always in remembrance, after I'm gone.'  But you know, a lot of us live our lives and we don't treat this [our bodies] like a tent, and we don't treat it like we're making an exodus some day and getting out of it.  We treat it like it's everything.  [I just treat it nice in an attempt to keep it going, patching the rips and tares in it.]  We spend a lot of time painting it up, taking it to the gym, thinning it down, giving it health food, grooming it, you know, we're consumed with it, dressing it up.  You want your tent to look better than somebody else's tent.  And it's almost like we're going to stay in it forever and never make an exodus, we're working hard on it, getting it nipped and tucked, and you know, everything else, because when we're 80 we want to look like we're in a 50 tent, you know, a 50-year-old tent, we work hard on our tent.  You know, it's interesting, the Old Testament, it says their "carcasses" fell in the wilderness.  That gives you a little bit of a different perspective.  And I see you guys walk into the sanctuary sometimes, and you're kind of like checking out each other's carcasses.  'You know, I'm glad I'm not dressed like that, look at the way he's dressed, just look at that hair, look at my carcass, my carcass looks good, I take care of my carcass.'  Peter's got things in perspective.  But he loves the Lord's flock.  He listened to Jesus talking about being a good shepherd.  [see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/pom/AShepherdLooks.htm]  In the end of his first epistle he said 'Feed the flock of God which is among you, care for them.  When the chief Shepherd appears,' he talked about that.  And now he's saying, 'You know what?  These are essential, important things in the lives of believers, in your lives,' and he says, 'I'm not going to be negligent to put you in remembrance of these things, as long as I'm here in this tent, this temporary situation, as long as I am present here and I can address you, I'm going to endeavor to see that you have these things, before I make my exodus and get out of here, and that you'll always be able to bring them to remembrance.'  And then again, in chapter 3, verse 1 he says, "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance."  He said the way that he's going to be sure that we can keep hold of some of these things is to put it in print, so that we can have it and read it.  And he's endeavoring to do that.  And here we are this evening, 2,000 years later, and he says to us, "the like precious faith," that's what we're sitting here with this evening.  I was reminded of that as we were praying.  You know, you think Jesus loved John more than you?  In John's Gospel, he said, 'Hey, I'm the disciple the Lord loved.'  'Hey John, so am I!  What are you doing, leaving me out?'  It says here we have a like precious faith.  He did not love Peter, James and John more than he loves you and I.  I have four children at home, no, they're not children anymore, it just bugs them when I say that, it's just the way you think as a parent.  And they're not all at home, as a matter of fact.  But I could go through and tell you which one I love the most.  And I can tell you why I love Joanna the most, and I could tell you why I love Mike the most, then I could tell you why I love Josh the most, and I could tell you why I love Hanna the most, but I couldn't tell you why I love one of them the most, because I love all of them the most.  And Peter knows that well. 

 

'We Have Not Followed Cunningly Devised Fables, We Were Eyewitnesses'

 

And he's seeking to hand to us something that will stand to counter the false teaching that would come into the Church, and the forces of culture, and the world.  And he says 'I want you to have something that will keep you, that these things will always be in remembrance.'  "For" verse 16, "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."  "we" he's thinking of himself, John, and James no doubt.  'We haven't followed cunningly devised fables,' he says.  He says, "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.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount." (verses 17-18)  Now he tells us when, "when we were with him in the holy mount."  Now he's talking about the Mount of Transfiguration.  Certainly at the baptism of Christ we heard 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,' but at the transfiguration that same thing happened.  In fact, right before the transfiguration Jesus said 'Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste death until they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom,' and then it says 'after six days he took them up on the Mount of Transfiguration.'  So what they saw, evidently, was timeless in some way.  They were sleeping, Peter edits the event for us, he doesn't bother to tell us he was sleeping when it happened.  And the brilliance, that excellent glory it tells us, woke him up. You know, I'm light-sensitive, if the sun's up in the morning it's easier to get out of bed.  He doesn't tell us that they were sleeping and they woke up and, and when he woke up he was startled, he looked around and saw Jesus and Elijah and Moses in the glory of the Kingdom [glowing like the sun] somehow.  And he doesn't tell you, Mark does, who was discipled under Peter.  Mark tells us in his Gospel that Peter says, 'You know, it's a good thing that we're here.'  And you can see Moses and Elijah thinking 'oh yeah, are we relieved, it's a good thing you guys are here.'  And then Mark says, 'Peter said that because he didn't know what to say.'  The rule is, when you don't know what to say, don't say nothing, especially if Jesus, Moses and Elijah are standing in front of you.  What he did say was 'Let us build three tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah,' now that's why he's very tabernacle conscious as he goes through this.  But what he's saying is, he said, 'When we made known to you the power and the coming of the Lord, we didn't use cunningly devised fables,' it wasn't like, this is not all about like 'The Passover Plot,' ridiculous things that we hear today, or something where Jesus really died, but we thought, 'What do we do now? we left our fishing industry, everything, our parents told us we were nuts, we told them we found the Messiah, they thought we were crazy, we turned from the business, now he's dead, what are we gonna do?  Let's steal his body, let's tell everybody he's risen from the dead, and then we'll cut our wrists and we'll be blood-brothers, and we'll never break the promise, and no matter what happens, if they put us in the arena and they set us on fire, if they throw us to the lions, whatever they do to us, it doesn't matter, we'll tell everybody that he's really risen.'  You know that didn't happen.  Because the first guy they take and start to cook, he's gonna say 'Hey, hey, we're only kidding!  We're only kidding, he's dead, he's dead, he's dead!'  None of them did that, none of them did that.  Some of them were skinned alive, many of them crucified, got filled with arrows on crosses, some of them.  You read about the deaths of these men, it was unbelievable.  But he said, hey, "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." (verse 16) he said, 'We saw him in glory, so when we talk about the fact that he's coming, he's in glory,' he said, 'we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.'  That's not "martyrs," "witnesses" like in the Book of Acts, he's saying, 'with our eyes, we actually were eyewitnesses, it's something we saw, that's not just something we testified of,' he said, 'we were eyewitnesses,' "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." (verse 17)  And he doesn't bother to tell us that the voice said "Hear ye him."  You know, Peter's like the only guy that ever lived that had God talk to him right out of the cloud telling him to shut up and listen to his Son.  And Peter's there saying 'Oh, it's a good thing we're here, we should build tabernacles' and all of a sudden God says, 'PETER, THIS IS MY SON, LISTEN TO HIM, please.'  That's why he can't forget.  "And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount." (verse 18)  "In the holy mountain," the holy mountain is no longer Sinai as far as Peter's concerned (it will be the Mount of Olives though, cf. Zechariah 14:1-15), where the old covenant was given.  'The holy mountain,' he says, 'is where we saw him transfigured, where we saw him in his power.' 

 

You And I Have Something That We Can Build Our Lives On, It's More Than Subjective Experience---The Word Of God Is More Certain Than Ever

 

"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:" (verse 19)  Now he's got something to say to us.  He says, 'We've got something more certain now, and it's in regards to the Word of God.'  He said, 'We had a spiritual experience, we had something subjective happen in our lives.'  And just imagine what this was like.  It says when they looked up after God spoke to them, Moses and Elijah were gone, and it was just Jesus.  And what they understood was that the Law, Moses, and the Prophets, Elijah, were in keeping with what was going to be accomplished, Christ's exodus in Jerusalem.  They understood at that moment in time, because it was right before that Peter said, 'Far be if from you, Lord,' and Jesus said, 'Get thee behind me, Satan.  You're savouring not the things of God but the things of man.'  Now, all of a sudden he realizes, several days later as he sees the transfiguration, that Moses and Elijah talking with Christ about his crucifixion and what he's going to accomplish, and they realize now, this is all the Word of God, it's all in keeping with the Word of God.  And he says to us, "We have a more sure word of prophecy;" just imagine these guys coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, looking at Jesus.  They had followed him for several years, they knew what the back of his robe looked like, they knew where there were spots, they knew what the back of his sandals looked like, they knew what the back of his head looked like, they knew where he had grey hair.  On the way down from that mountain, he looked completely different, he looked exactly the same, but he never looked the same again.  Because it says they knew that light, verse 4, the glory burst forth from within.  They probably walked a few steps back, not so close.  And Jesus said to them, 'You know, don't tell anybody until after I'm risen from the dead,' ekenekron, 'till I'm risen out from among the dead.'  And then it tells us their whole conversation was 'What does that mean, out from among the dead?'  No wonder he told them don't tell anybody, they didn't understand anything at this point.  Because they thought all the dead were raised at one time (cf. Ezekiel 37:1-14, The Valley of Dry Bone's Prophecy, the general resurrection of the dead that all the Jews were taught about and believed in).  And Jesus said, 'No, don't tell anybody till I'm raised out from among the dead,' and it says they were questioning, 'What's this out from among the dead?'  But he says to us, "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:" (verse 19)  i.e. 'The things that we saw and the things that have happened have only made the Word of God more certain than ever.'  And what he's saying to you and I is, we have something that we can build our lives on, that it's more sure than subjective experience.  I'm glad when God does a miracle.  I'm glad when I sense his presence.  But when I don't sense his presence, where am I?  Where does that leave me?  Does that mean he took off and left me?  Must be, right?  Because I can't sense his presence.  What if I go a week and can't sense his presence?  Does it mean he took a vacation?  No, no, no, because the Word of God says he'll never leave me or forsake me.  So what that means is it doesn't matter whether I sense his presence or not.  Because that means where he is, is he's right next to me not wanting me to sense his presence.  It becomes very simple.  He says "We have now a more sure word of prophecy;" the Word of God is more certain than ever, because in fact he fulfilled all of these things.  [Comment:  What things?  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm]  And you and I now have something, Peter says, that is more certain than spiritual experience.  Because the world we live in is on schedule to be deceived by spiritual experiences, the antichrist is coming.  He's going to deceive the world with all kinds of lying signs and wonders it says.  And what are we going to do, as things lead up to that?  It says there will be false christs, false messiahs, don't follow them, these are the beginning of sorrows.  What do we do with Si Baba in India?  He'll take a clay pot on his fist and shake it, and hundreds of pounds of ash will fall out of that small pot on the ground.  He'll walk on water.  What do you do about that?  Is he an avatar?  Is he the 2nd coming, is he the Messiah?  It doesn't matter what you see, Peter says, we have something more certain now, and that is this [holding up his Bible], and you can stand on this, you can bet your life on this.  And he says 'I'm seeking and I'm endeavoring to make sure that these are the things that you have in remembrance after I leave this world.'  And how wonderful and how faithful God is, here we are 2,000 years later, you know, someday we'll see this old fisherman face to face, some day soon.  But now here he is, we have these things he's given to us.  "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," it's full of false teachers, full of immorality, the idea is murky, the world we live in is murky.  I don't know about you guys, it is a murky place.  But there's a light shining in the middle of it, "until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" (verse 19)  That's why I don't ever want to turn away from the Word of God.  Look at the world, look at what people are seeing out there, look at what's being demonstrated to them, look at what's being told to them. And the whole world has become murky, 'And we don't want to offend anybody, don't talk about hell, don't talk about heaven, don't talk about sin, we don't want to do that, we might offend somebody.'  So we kind of want to present a religion that's real nice, so nice people can come, and hear nice things, and go out and have nice social things, and nice children, in a nice world, and that's a nice dream, but it ain't happening.  People in darkness, when they walk in, and bring their lives before the Word of God, should be like looking into the light, without apology, without compromise.  We're not seeking to present something that's seeker-friendly, we want to present something that's seeker-shocking!---that will knock their socks off when they come in the door.  We want the difference between truth and error and light and darkness to be staggering.  People should come in and hear of the love of Jesus Christ through the power of his Word in a way that will change their lives forever. 

 

'No Prophecy, Bible Doctrine, Teaching Is Of Any Private Interpretation'

 

And Peter says, 'Hey, we have a more sure word of prophecy, as a matter of fact, it is like a light that's shining in a dark and a murky world,' and he said, 'that we should give heed to that, as the day star arises in your hearts, that we should take heed to it,' "knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." (verse 20) you know, that no particular prophecy can be interpreted without all of the other texts on the same subject.  No prophecy that came to Jeremiah or Isaiah or Ezekiel stood alone without what the rest of the Scripture said.  And it's not that a private individual isn't to interpret, but the idea is, no prophecy of Scripture, no text, stands alone.  [Comment:  It's often been said, it's very dangerous to form a doctrine based on one verse, it can't be done.  Some try, and they're the folks to avoid.  What gets me is that all the various denominations have their own "private interpretations" for Bible prophecy and Bible doctrines.  This is not right.  Want to see an example of that?  Read the title page at http://www.unityinchrist.com/Prophets_Prophecy.html]  It stands in the context of the rest of the Word of God.  No prophecy is subject to private interpretation.  [And yet each and every denomination is guilty of this.]  Or you would read "Bring my cloak from Troas" and think for the rest of your life, you'd be looking for Troas and a cloak.  No Scripture is subject to private interpretation.  The reason, "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." (verse 21)  Holy men of old spoke as they were driven, it speaks the way a ship is driven by the wind, that's our word "moved."  Peter is saying that Ezekiel didn't speak to you, God spoke to you through Ezekiel.  Ezekiel was the pen, God was the writer.  Jeremiah was the pen, God was the writer.  Of course we have Peter-pen, we're not to be confused with Peter Pan, ok.  But it is the same thing that he is writing here.  You know, he says in his first epistle that even the prophets of old, when they wrote, they longed to look into the things they were writing.  They didn't understand it, because they were written for you and I, the heirs of salvation.  Now again he's affirming the same thing, that they were moved by God's Spirit, so that no thing they wrote that could be subject to any private interpretation, it's the same Lord, it's the same Spirit, the same inspiration that moved them. 

 

2nd Peter 2:1-3

 

A Warning By Peter About False Teachers

 

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:  whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."  Now he's making a point about it [what we just read in 1st Peter 1:20-21], because in chapter 2 he's going to say "But there were false prophets also among the people,"  And what he's going to say is this, 'Look, I want to put you in remembrance of something, I want you in solid doctrine,' doctrine just means "teaching."  'I want you in the truth of God's Word, grounded there, and because of that I'm not going to be negligent to constantly remind you of certain things.  And particularly because of the fact I'm aware that I'm going to finish my course soon, and I'm going to make my exodus, and I'm going to leave this tent behind that I'm living in now.'  And he says, 'Because of that, I am endeavoring to make sure you're going to be able to put these things in remembrance,' and that's why he's writing.  And he says, as he's writing, and he's going to affirm, no doubt moved by the Holy Spirit, and he says 'It's not just a bunch of cunningly devised fables, we were eyewitnesses, we stood in the midst of this, we heard the voice of God, we understand both the power and the coming of Christ, and as we give it to you, it's not just by the will of man, it's by the inspiration of God.'  Important to understand, he says, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you," King James, "who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (verse 1)  Here he starts getting to his point.  [For an example of a heresy that denies who the Lord Jesus Christ is, see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/What%20is%20Arianism.htm]  He's concerned, he wants them in remembrance, because he knows that there's false teaching and false teachers that will come.  And he's going to talk about some of the things he'll address, and particularly [those who would be] making fun of the 2nd coming, the power and coming of Christ. 

 

First Thing, Peter Points To The False Prophets In The Old Testament

 

He says interestingly, "there were false prophets" notice, "also among the people,"  What he's saying is, there were real prophets among the people also, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, there were real prophets among the people.  But there were also among the people false prophets, "even as there shall be false teachers among you,"  Look, one of your safeties is, is that I can say to you "Don't believe anything I say."  OK?  You have a Bible.  You know, I hope you have your Bible here this evening.  We don't tell you how to dress, obviously, we don't beg you for money.  What we do is we ask you to bring your Bibles.  And we ask you this, "Don't believe anything I say," because Paul said 'the Bereans were more noble because they studied the Scripture themselves to see if the things that he said were so.'  That's your responsibility.  We have the same book in front of us, let's go through it, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, let's measure it out, let's mete it out, let's expound it, let's look at it together, and don't believe anything I say, you study it yourself.  Because there were false teachers among the people.  You need to understand that there are today, some of them swing their jackets around.  'Oh but, you don't understand, their arena is so packed,' it says "And many" verse 2, "shall follow their pernicious ways"  Look, understand this, there were false prophets in the Old Testament too, is what he's saying.  Jeremiah, we've been studying that on Sunday, we've been studying it for months, all of the people [in Judah] listened to the false prophets.  This was one guy with the most important and least listened to message on the planet.  [see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/jeremiah/jer1.html]  And the people wanted to listen to the false prophets, because what they were giving was easier to listen to, it was less demanding, it was more friendly, it wasn't as cutting.  Jeremiah was asking them to repent, he was calling sin, sin.  He was telling them to turn to a God who was powerful, that could forgive, that could wash and that could cleanse [them], and that they would have life and be forgiven if they would turn.  But the false prophets were saying 'No, God loves you just the way you are, you can do whatever you want.'  Same vocabulary, different dictionary Wiersby says.  Same vocabulary, that's the problem with false teachers and false prophets, they use the same words, 'Hey, Praise the Lord!  Glory to God, Hallelujah! same words, same vocabulary, different dictionary.  Ask them to define what they're saying, different dictionary.  And Peter watched Jesus deal with the Pharisees and Sadducees, with the false teachers of the day, that would devour widows houses, make long prayers for a pretense, that would shut up the doors to the Kingdom of God, with themselves not entering in, and not letting others enter in, laying burdens on men that they themselves were not willing to bear.  Peter's mind is working in this realm of remembrance, he's very aware of these things.  "there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you," now look, this is not like 'oh, where are they? false teachers, oh no, here we are, we're in trouble, there's false teachers,' no, no, no, no, you have this [holding up his Bible], you have this, we're completely safe.  You know, people who work in the F.B.I. in the Counterfeit Department, they don't study counterfeit bills, because there's too many of them.  They study real bills all day, every day, 40 hours a week.  They know what a real ten, a real fifty and a real hundred dollar bill looks like.  And they know it so well that as soon as they see a counterfeit, they know it.  We have the truth, we have the real bill, and it's an open-book test, by the way.  And we're completely safe, because we have a more sure word of prophecy, right here.  And you'll know the truth, and the truth will set you free [free from what? as it's often asked.  Free from sin and the wages of sin, which leads to death.]  And you should be able to look at some of these false teachers and say, 'Man, that guy is weird!'  Let's all say it together, 'THAT GUY IS WEIRD!'  Feels good, doesn't it?  You know, some Christian will say, 'Well, I don't knoooow, he said Jeeesus, and he said 'Glory to God, Praise God, Hallelujah, and I don't want to be judgmental, and I don't know '  Look, the guy tried to get in your wallet for 45 minutes.  Ok? 

 

How False Teachers Work---How To Recognize Them

 

Look what Peter's saying here, "there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily" or secretly, stealthily, "shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."  Now, we'll back up for a minute, "even" this is so important, "denying that Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."  It's what he says, 'They're going to secretly,' now "bring in" doesn't give us the idea.  It is "bring in alongside,"  How they're going to introduce their false teaching, is they're not going to say 'Hey, let's go out and wait for the flying saucers and forget about the Bible,' no, they're going to use the same vocabulary, they're going to use God-talk, they're going to use spiritual words.  But what they're going to do is they're going to "bring in alongside of" the truth, their own stuff.  Paul talks about it in Galatians, he says 'You know, I'm surprised that you're so soon removed from the Gospel of grace to another gospel,'  and he said, 'no, no, it's not another gospel, it's a deformed gospel.'  And what they do, so many of them, is they present to us this "Jesus and" theology.  'Oh, yea, yea, but it's Jesus and you have to do this, Jesus, and you have to profess this, Jesus and you have to believe this.'  You know, I'll tell you, I appreciate the fellowship I have with Baptist believers, Methodist believers, Presbyterian believers, we can hold a different position on the Holy Spirit and on eschatology, but we have the fundamentals of the faith.  Those are not aberrant, just two different positions.  But as soon as I have someone come in and say 'Oh we have an apostle, you go to Calvary, huh, ah, you guys there, you like to drink the milk, don't ya, you like to drink the milk.  You don't know about the real meat, you're just there in the nursery.  But if you get these tapes from our apostle, 60 bucks for five tapes, they got to be important for that money,' you know, they, it's "Jesus and", Jesus and bringing something alongside.  And it primarily, he says, gets to the point where they deny the Lord that bought them, they deny the atonement of Jesus Christ.  Look, heretical movements are always going to deny the deity of Christ, the blood of Christ, the Word of God, it's the same attack from the beginning.  [The article What is Arianism? shows how a heretical teacher denies the deity of Christ quite specifically.  It's a good example of that.]   They deny the Lord that bought them.  We hear it through the Church today, 'Let's not talk about the blood of Jesus, that's offensive.  Let's not talk about sin, we'll give people bad self-esteem,' hey, let's all say it together, THAT IS STUPID.  I'm just kidding.  Bad self-esteem?---that God thought so much of me, in my lost sinful state, that he sent his only begotten Son into the world to shed his blood and die for my sins, that he loves me that much, and I should have bad self-esteem?  That's really dumb.  I never had self-esteem until I realized I was a sinner and Jesus died for me.  I was set free then, I knew God loved me.  But it says they'll bring in secretly their damnable heresies, even denying, even getting to the point where they deny the atonement of Christ, the Lord that bought them, and this is what it says, they're going to bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And that doesn't sound good for anybody who follows them either.  Look, "many shall follow their pernicious [lascivious, sensual] ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." (verse 2)  The hodos, the path, The Way, Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life,' "by whom" speaking of Christ, "shall be evil spoken of." They're going to bring in such lasciviousness, such sensuality into the Church, that they're going to bring a reproach on Christ.  Haven't we seen that?  [It's started happening within some of the older denominations, such as Baptist to some extent, Congregational and Methodist.]  And look, "many," he says, "shall follow their pernicious ways;"  Jesus said it this way, he said 'Broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be that go thereon.  Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it.'  Now he doesn't change context when he says then, 'Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing.'  Ok, they have God-speak.  False prophets don't run in with black cloaks, going 'Ya, aah, aaah!'  They come in with sheep's clothing on.  But he says, 'but inwardly they're ravening wolves,' they're wolves in sheep's clothing.  You can tell them by what they eat.  If you see a bunch of sheep in a pasture and one of them is eating other sheep [laughter] that's a wolf in sheep's clothing.  The sheep that are eating grass are sheep.  The sheep that are eating sheep are not sheep.  He says they're ravening wolves, very interesting, that word "ravening" is used five other times in the New Testament, and every other place it's translated "extortioning."  Here it says 'they will make merchandize of the people of God,' they're after your money.  How do you know?  Well he says, he, Jesus goes on to say, 'A good tree doesn't bring for bad fruit, figs don't bring forth thistles.'  By your fruits you'll be known.' He says, 'Look, many are going to come to me in that day and say, Lord, didn't we cast out demons in your name?  Didn't we do this in your name?  Didn't we do miracles in your name?'  We hear it on TV, 'In the NAME of Jeeesus!'   And he's going to say to them, 'Be gone, I never knew you' and it's emphatic in the Greek, 'I never, ever, knew you.'  Now he can't say that to us when we're saved.  We may struggle, we may backslide and have a hard time, he can't say that to us "I never, ever knew you."  I know you're thinking, 'Well, I wish I never knew you.'  No, he's not going to do that.  Ok?  And he says, I'll tell you the way it goes here, he says 'The wise man is the one who hears my words, and builds his house upon the rock.  And the storms of life come, and the wind blows, and the house is standing because it's build on the rock.  A foolish man builds his house upon the sand,' it's his whole context, 'Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, broad is the way that leads to destruction, many there be that go thereon, it leads to destruction.'  Beware, take heed to yourselves, because there are going to be false teachers, like Peter said.  And Peter no doubt is remembering what Christ said.  They come in sheep's clothing, inwardly they're ravening wolves.  Oh, they're going to be able to say 'We did all this stuff in your name,' but the Lord's going to say 'I never, ever knew you.'  Because the way you tell is, are they building your life on the Rock, on Jesus Christ?  Is the Lord that bought them the center of their message?  Are they preaching Christ crucified, risen, returning?  Is that their message?  Is that the center of what they're saying, the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  [What is that Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Salvation?  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm]  If that's the center of their message, and you know that he loves you and that he died for you, and you know that he paid for all of your sins in his blood, and you know that he's returning for you, in power and in glory and you know that without apology, and you can walk in that confidence, then you are where Peter wants you to be, and where the Holy Spirit wants you to be.  Because he says here, 'hey, many are going to follow their pernicious ways,' you can't tell because they're popular, you can tell by their message.  Is it the Rock, is it the center, is it the Lord that bought you, what's their message?  'Well, it's a Holy Ghost meeting.'  There's no such thing as a Holy Ghost meeting.  The Holy Ghost doesn't go to Holy Ghost meetings.  The Holy Ghost goes to Jesus meetings.  Jesus said 'When the Holy Ghost comes, he will not speak of himself.'  So if it's a Holy Ghost meeting, we don't know whose there.  'But when he comes, he'll take the things of me and show them to you, reveal them to you.'  At a Jesus meeting, you study all of the great revivals through Church history, Christ crucified was at the center of all of those revivals.  And the Holy Spirit came to speak to everybody about his power and love [Jesus' power and love, that is].  It was not holy laughter, it was hearts that were broken and pierced before a loving God.  It was sinners who were in contrition and conviction before an Almighty and all-powerful God that loved them so much that he gave his Son for them.  And lots of people are going to turn away from that, Peter says, it's not going to be a popular message. 

 

Most False Teachers Are After Your Wallet

 

"And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:  whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (verses 2-3)  "Feigned" plastios, it was a certain form of clay that was mixed up, we get "plastic" from it.  Write "plastic" there if you're a note-taker.  "through covetousness" that tells you where they come from "shall they with feigned" plastic "words make merchandise of you:"  I don't like plastic, I don't want to offend anybody out in the industry, that's not my point, I'm an old Hippie, so it means something to me. In 1970 when you said something was plastic, it was like something was funky or lame, I don't know where it is now, I'm too old to care, but. [Comment:  plastic, ground up really small is becoming so emulsified and immersed in our oceans that it has begun to supplant the plankton, the most important part of the bottom of the food chain in the world's oceans and fishing industries, and it is also adversely effecting fish reproductive rates too, so that fish that would and could never be "over-fished" are being over-fished to extinction levels, all because of plastic accumulating in the world's oceans.  This is just one more way man has brought this planet closer to extinction.  Plankton is also a vital part of the world's one-way C-02 exchange system, keeping C-02 levels safely where they belong, and not too high, which would prove deadly.  Mankind never realized the negative effects of manufacturing plastic when it was first discovered in the laboratories.  Check out the utube's on this subject of plastic in the world's oceans sometime, it's quite scary.  Glass has always been a safe alternative to plastic, and totally environmentally safe.]  I know I'm cool now, so I don't have to know all that lingo anymore.  "through covetousness shall they with plastic words make merchandise of you:"  You know what's interesting?  Peter again pulls from John chapter 2, when Jesus went in and turned over the tables of the money-changers, he said 'You've made my Father's house a house of merchandise.'  We get "emporium" from the Greek word, a marketplace, and that's his word here, "merchandise."  "through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you make merchandise of you:"  Look, if you ever come here, and we say 'This is triple-tithe Sunday,' you leave.  OK.  You leave.  There's a right way to ask, I've seen Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, I've seen people ask a proper way.  There's a proper way to say, and I can watch it on TV, it doesn't bother me, or listen to it on the radio, 'Hey, we're doing this crusade' or 'we're doing this outreach, if you care to give, and you pray about it, this is where you can send your contributions, we appreciate that.'  And then, ok, we're done with it.  And I understand that.  But when I listen to a half-hour teaching, and twenty-five minutes is about my money and where it needs to go, then I'm just sadistic, I'm listening to bother myself, just to aggravate myself.  And let me tell you something, they're out there, Robert Tilton was exposed, I'm not saying it, the media said it.  I'm saying it too, but they said it [loud laughter].  But this is what happens, and if you want to do an experiment, do this, just to make yourself miserable.  When one of these cookie guys sends you some kind of an appeal letter, 'Oh, the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and he gave me your name and your address ' send that person 10 bucks, and in the next five years you'll get 3,000 dollars worth of mail for that 10 bucks.  [now if you heat with a woodstove, you'll get a lot of free paper to start your fires with.]  Because what they do is they take your name, and they put it on a 10 dollar list.  If you send 5 bucks, your name gets on a 5 buck list, and then different people buy that list.  It's a whole marketing world.  If you give 100 dollars, you're name is expensive, because you're on the 100-dollar list.  [Comment:  In the reverse, legitimate non-denominational Christian care-giving or evangelistic organizations never give out or "sell" your name or address to others.  I never got any religious 'junk mail' as a result of giving to Samaritan's Purse, Mission Aviation Fellowship, or The JESUS Film Project.  They send out normal letters of appeal and updates on their ministries to those who have become volunteer donors, and that's about it.  You'll never get other religious appeals as a result of contributing to these legitimate Christian ministries which further the spread the Gospel in a non-denominational way.]  If you give 1000 bucks, you're a gold-card, different ministries will pay all kinds of money for your name.  And what they do, is they study demographics, it was on this whole expose' on Tilton, they said that what they did was realized in this area of Kansas if we put a little child in a wheelchair on our appeal, we get the most response from this area of the country through having kids in wheelchairs on our appeal.  We've discovered in this part of the country if we put a little boy with cancer, people respond the best, so we find a little picture of a kid with cancer and put it on.  It's all a scam, and it's marketing.  And it says here they're going to bring upon themselves swift destruction.  He's going to say 'Be gone, I never knew you.'  Because all they're doing is making merchandise of God's people.  And some poor grandmother somewhere who sends in 10 bucks, and she does it with sincerity of heart, God will reward her anyway, probably.  But that thief  is going to have to give an account for it, he's going to have to give an account for it.  Even in the Old Testament God cared more for his people, he wanted only a tenth of their increase and a seventh of their time.  One day out of seven he wanted.  He cared more about them than their increase.  You listen to some of these guys, they think God's ready to file chapter 11, 'He's been a bad steward of his resources, and unless you send in your money and bail out the Kingdom, it's going down, and when you get to heaven the angels are going to say, 'Well you're the one, if you'd have sent 1000 bucks, we wouldn't have all these vacancies,' [loud laughter] 'you're the one.'  That is not going to happen, our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the Universe can't contain his splendor and his power and his wealth.  It is unimaginable, immeasurable, unlimited, he has not filed chapter 11, he is not bankrupt, and he is not dependent on you, and he's not dependent on me, and aren't we glad, aren't we glad.  [applause]  What kind of God would that be, dependent on me?  I want a God where I can be dependent on him.  I don't want a God whose dependent on me, bad deal.  But Peter says they're coming, 'many shall follow their lascivious, their carnal ways, by reason of whom the way of truth, Jesus Christ himself, shall be evil spoken of.'  "And through covetousness shall they with plastic words make merchandise of you:" but Peter says this, "whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (verse 3)  Peter says this, there are eternal things that were placed in motion when God set this physical universe into existence.  There is a process of sowing and reaping that is undeniable.  They are sowing to the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind [and a whirlwind is a tornado, by the way, and God's got a nice F5 or F6 planned for them].  Their judgment and their damnation, it's not slumbering.  People are saying 'How do they get away with it?'  They are not getting away with it.  In fact, I would recommend this, and I'm recommending it to myself too, we should pray for them, because they're either a wolf and a liar, or they grew up in a ministry where they are imitating the wolf and the liar they grew up under, themselves being deceived.  And they need to be brought to the light and brought to their knees and ask for Christ's forgiveness, and he will forgive them, the same God who forgave us. 

 

In Closing

 

But the point is, Peter says, 'Look, they're not getting away with it.  Their damnation and their judgment, it's not slumbering, it's not asleep somewhere, it is in motion, the books are being kept, the tally is being recorded, and they're going to bring upon themselves swift destruction.' For you and I he says, 'It's my heart's desire that I put you in remembrance of the things that matter.  I'm on my way out of here.'  He's not mourning over it, he said, 'No, I'm ready to make my exodus, I'm ready to pass out of this dark and gloomy world and be set free.  But as long as I'm here, what's proper for me is to endeavor, to make sure, that you can have the truth in remembrance.'  Here we are 2,000 years later with the truth, how wonderful.  And he says because 'When we made known unto you the power of the coming of the Lord, it wasn't with cunningly devised fables, but we ourselves were eyewitnesses, and we heard him speak, and say 'This is my beloved Son,' and we heard such a voice come from heaven when we were with him in the holy mount.  But you have now a more sure word of prophecy, unto which you do well to take heed as a light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.'  In a dark world, God's Word is shining.  'Because no prophecy of Scripture is subject to private interpretation, it has to take the whole context of God's Word into consideration, because it was the same Holy Spirit that moved all of the writers.  Holy men of old, they didn't write by themselves, but as they were "driven along, and moved" by the Holy Spirit.  God's prophets were moved that way.  You need to watch out, because even when God's prophets were writing, there were also false teachers among the people, he says, as there shall be among you.'  And he says, 'Because of the things they do, they're going to seek to lead people astray, to secretly, privately, bring alongside God's truth damnable heresies, even denying the atonement of Jesus Christ.  They're going to bring upon themselves swift destruction, and many are going to follow their pernicious ways,' he says.  And he said, 'What they're doing is they're seeking to make merchandise of you.  They don't really care about your spiritual health, they care about what they get out of you and not what they can get into you, and with plastic, phony words they're going to make merchandise of you.  Oh, they're going to use the same vocabulary, but they're going to use a different dictionary.'  But Peter says this, 'I want you to understand, their judgment, it's not slumbering, their damnation is not lingering, it's coming, it's in place, they're not getting away with it.'  Pray for them.  Pray that the Lord will put us in remembrance of the truth.  We pray if you're here tonight, and you don't know Jesus Christ, I'm going to  have the musicians come and we'll sing a last song, I want you to read ahead, if the Lord tarries next week we'll continue to move through 2nd Peter.  But look, if you're here tonight, and you don't know Christ, as we sing this last song, we want to give you an opportunity to come and pray and say 'Lord, I'm here, all of that resonates with me, I know if you are really there, I want to believe you're there because you died for my sins, and Lord I do see all these screwballs that are always begging for money, and I know that's not the way it's supposed to be, and if the way it's supposed to be is I'm supposed to come to you and be cleansed and forgiven, I'm willing to come, I know I'm a sinner.  I want to repent of my sin.'  Then you come tonight, and let us pray with you.  If you're a prodigal and you've been away from the Lord, maybe tonight can just be a time that you're reminded of his love, you can bring to remembrance.  The way you come back to Christ is the same way you came to him in the first place, undeserving, unworthy, nothing of your own, he's paid the price in his own blood, and the door is open.  And if you've been in compromise and sin, this evening you can look back to the same Jesus, he's the same yesterday, today and forever, he never changes, and say 'Lord, I've been blowing it, I've been AWOL, I've been away.  But Lord, tonight, I'm being reminded of your great love, I've come back, put my feet back on the path, never let them go off again Lord.  I want to do this right, I want to finish my course, and I want to be a good finisher.'  You pray that, and just ask him to touch your life again this evening.  And for the rest of us, you know, let's just say 'Lord, remind  us, we're forgetful, we're forgetful, so continue to remind us of the things that we need to walk in and live in and rest upon, and embrace, and consume, and be comforted by.'  Let's stand, let's pray [transcript of a connective expository sermon on 2nd Peter 1:12-21 and 2:1-3, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

Peter was told to feed the flock of God, Jesus' sheep.  How should a pastor do that?  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/pom/AShepherdLooks.htm

 

When will Peter see the Lord?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm

 

What is one false teaching, heresy, that denies the Lord that bought us?  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/What%20is%20Arianism.htm

 

What should the center of the message of a legitimate Christian church or denomination be?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.

 

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