|2 Peter 3:16-17 |
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16 As he does in all his letters, speaking in them of these things. There are some things in his letters that are hard to understand, which those who are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist] to their own destruction, as they also do the other scriptures. [Who are the unlearned? Those who have only studied the scriptures without dedicating themselves to waiting on God to be taught by Him, led by Him, and had even their desires for sin to destroyed by Him; so that all their thoughts, words, and deeds were supplied by the Holy Spirit.]
17 Therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also, being led away by the error of the wicked,4 fall away from your own steadfastness. [The error of the wicked is to believe that by grace God licenses the continuation of sin until death in believers.]
4 Your beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as he does in all his letters, speaking in them of these things. There are some things in his letters that are hard to understand, which those who are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist] to their own destruction, as they also do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also, being led away by the error of the wicked. Paul's letters are the source of the gospel of instant grace, with freedom to sin. And yet Peter is warning us here that they are difficult to understand by the unlearned and unstable and are being twisted to their own destruction, carried away by the error of the wicked.
those who are unlearned
Who are the unlearned that read Paul's letters and twisted them to their destruction? Not pagans; Not Jews; they would have no interest in Paul's letters. It was false Christians; the self-authorized Christian apostles and teachers who had only studied the scriptures and writings of the true Apostles, and had failed to dedicate themselves to waiting on God to be taught by Him, led by Him, and had even their desires for sin to destroyed by Him; so that all their thoughts, words, and deeds were supplied by the Holy Spirit. False Christian sects and false apostles were already springing up in the time of the Apostles. How? By taking writings and forming their own opinions as to what was meant in them without having first spent time learning from the Holy Spirit. So that today there are 45,000 sects of Christianity with widely different opinions as to the critical meaning of the scriptures — each sect claiming their superior understanding of the scriptures. The Jews thought they were expert in the scriptures too; yet they missed to whom their prophets all pointed — they failed to recognize the Messiah. As Jesus said to the Jewish scripture experts of his time, who had failed to learn from the Holy Spirit directly, instead only studying the scriptures:
He who is of God, hears God's words. John 8:47
You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form.
And you do not have his word abiding in you; for you do not believe him whom he has sent.
You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and they are those that testify of me.
But you will not come to me, so that you might have life. John 5:37-40.
Similarly, one hundred generations of Christendom, incorrectly interpreting the Scriptures, have rejected listening to and obeying Christ within them, expecting an outward appearance; expecting Christ to physically appear to be King of the whole world, thereby missing the possibility of preparing for his inward, individual spiritual appearance in them.
the error of the wicked.
Who are the wicked? False Christians! What is this error of the wicked? Think about it, and you will see it has to be that sin is excused, exactly the doctrine of the deficit sects today. The wicked are not going to tell you that you must get rid of your sin from your heart. No, the wicked are going to tell you that a heart full of sin is OK, normal, best you can do, all men sin, Jesus paid for them all, no one can be perfect, there is no cross necessary — Jesus did that for us all, it is finished. Are you beginning to see how the false prophets have twisted a few scriptures to ignore all of the warnings against sin, and ignore the Bible's many stated exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions of salvation. (Click on each of these exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions to read them for yourselves; they are undeniable and clearly show that Christendom is a hollow shell of the original Christianity of the Apostles and the Bible, substituting heathenish ritual, ceremony, and theater, instead of the cross, purity, cleanliness, righteousness, and holiness.)
Jesus said the false prophets in sheep's clothing would come. John said the antichrists and false apostles had come and had gone out from among them. Peter saw the false teachers had come. Paul and Jude saw the false apostles had come, and warned the brothers night and day for three years of more coming. And in Revelation, John saw where the whole world was to go after the false prophets and the false church, which occurred shortly afterwards. The false church is Revelation's whore of Babylon, riding the beast of many names (45,000 sects in Christendom), with horns like a lamb (that resembles the true church), but who speaks like a dragon (men speaking from their carnal minds, which is enmity with God, and their vain opinions from their evil imaginations) instead of speaking words supplied by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus and the Apostles did.