|2 Peter 3 |
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second letter. In both of them I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder,
2 So that you may recall the words that were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the command of our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3 Know this first: that in the last days scoffers will come, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For since our forefathers fell asleep [died], all things have continued as they were from the beginning of the creation." [In the below verses 5-7 of this letter, Peter tells us that "the word of God" created the earth and heavens, destroyed the world by flooding, and "the same word" is what destroys by fire the present heavens and earth when it judges and destroys ungodly people; and so Peter clearly proves that "the word" or "the word of God" is not the Bible but is Jesus, whose name is "the word of God."]
5 For they are willingly ignorant of this, that the heavens were made long ago, and the earth formed out of the water and by water and by the word of God, [Jesus, whose name is "the word of God," created all the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them.]
6 Through which [word and water] the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. [In the time of the flood, no scripture existed, and scriptures cannot create or destroy.]
7 But by the same word the present heavens and the earth are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people.1 [These three verses clearly prove that "the word" or "the word of God" is not the Bible; instead the word is the all-powerful, living creator and judge: Jesus, the word of God, who created all things in heaven and earth, and whose name is "the word of God." To think the Bible created the worlds is ridiculous; to think the Bible destroyed the world is ridiculous; to think the Bible can destroy ungodly people is ridiculous; and so it is ridiculous to call the Bible "the word." Jesus and "the word" are one in the same.]
8 Beloved, do not be ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.2 [On the day of the Lord, the appearance of Jesus, the world passes away and disappears, along with its lusts and desires, 1 John 2:7, you remain on the earth, but your sight and consciousness is in heaven, as you are translated into the Kingdom Heaven; those upon whom the ends of the world have come. 1 Cor 10:11]
11 Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons should you be in all holy conduct and godliness,
12 While waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of Christ,3 in which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? [Notice! If you can hasten the coming of the day of the Lord, then obviously it is a personal experience. Waiting for God hastens the day of Christ, when Jesus appears in a purified heart, when you are translated out of the physical dimension to the Kingdom of Heaven; the world passes away and disappears. 1 John 2:7. To wait on God is to listen, watch, and obey.]
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for such things, be diligent to be found by him at peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And know that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
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.]
18 But grow in grace,5 and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. [This shows grace is not instantly received as salvation upon belief. What more grace could be received than salvation? But you must grow in grace, until the Spirit has put to death all the lusts, pride, and passions of the sinful nature before you will ever see salvation. From the Word of the Lord within: "We must grow in grace and love."]
1 But by the same word the present heavens and the earth are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people.
A message from the Word of the Lord within follows, which is key to understanding exactly what destruction of ungodly people is referenced by Peter in this verse:
"Do not perish; not from this life, but from the life of God."
See Footnote 2 below for Howgill's description of what happens to the wicked on the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord, (also referenced as the Day of Christ by Peter), is at the physical death of the ungodly people, in which day they lose their soul and their life of God; but their spirit still lives on (in Hell) with great difficulty and little reward: 1) to learn to hate all evil they have ever done or said; 2) to learn about righteousness and God; 3) to be purified so they can live together with all other people with love, kindness, gentleness, etc.; and 4) to make Jesus to be their true Lord in control of their words and deeds.
2 The heavens will pass away, the earth will melt in great heat, and the works that are in it are all burned up. This is one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Bible. Peter is speaking of an inward experience as the purified believer enters the Kingdom of Heaven, a higher dimension, the earth disappears from his sight, as though it were being burned up. Look at the other scriptures that reference this same event:
And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever. 1 John 2:17. So the world with its lusts and passions disappear together, crucified by the aid of the Spirit. After we are purified, Christ returns to establish his Kingdom within us, and the world as we know it disappears. We enter a different dimension — paradise or the Kingdom of Heaven.
Now all these things happened to them for examples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have come. 1 Cor 10:11 The end of the world had come for the apostles and mature Christians. [have come is past tense]
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17 [have passed away is past tense]
Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Mat 28:20. This statement makes no sense, unless you realize the end of the world is a personal experience — as it was for the disciples — they are not still alive on the earth — yet they saw the end of the world.
But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for prayer. 1 Pet 4:7
From the Word of the Lord within: "The second coming is a personal experience. The world ends as you step into another dimension. Death falls on man to end the world, including some whose eyes were never opened."
The second coming and the day of the Lord are one in the same personal experience, which occurs for all men in every generation. For those who are crucified to spiritually die on the inward cross of self-denial, the second coming occurs as the Lord appears after the baptism of fire has burned all the remaining sin in them. Their body dies in this baptism of fire and death, but the believer is raised (resurrected) with Christ and translated into the kingdom of God. Though raised with Christ to live in the heavens, they still walk the earth as a new creature together, in union with the Lord. Below is kingdom-dwelling Francis Howgill's testimony regarding the Day of the Lord:
Those who gaze abroad [looking for a visible, outward appearance] cannot see the Lord's appearance, or his day. He that does not know where it consists, does not know how to look for it, any more than did the Jews, who were scripture experts and learned men, knew where the Kingdom of God consisted. And the literal believers, whose faith is founded on the letter [Bible/Scriptures], and on what is visible, know no more where the Kingdom of God is to be found. This day of the Lord, which is eternal brightness, appears in the heart; and the dawning and breaking forth of it is to be waited for there; and as it is witnessed, it manifests evil, and brings it to light, and declares against what is contrary to its own nature. Christ, the Covenant of light, the Gift of God, who is sent and anointed of God, to preach and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, proclaims it in the heart; for He comes not to bring peace, but a sword, and his sword is the sword of the Spirit. It is what divides, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart, and discovers its desperate wickedness. In earthly hearts where He finds no faith,* He kindles a fire and executes his vengeance; and his day to those without faith is a day of great perplexity. Their spirits come to be wounded; their hearts become faint, and sorrow fills them, and trouble is known; and in this state He finds all who are unconverted; without faith; without hope; and therefore He takes away peace. Many have talked of the day of the Lord; but when it appears, they will not be able to stand it; but will rather run to anything, [the refuge of continued darkness] than see the Lord of life appear to execute vengeance upon his enemies.
* The faith is looked for in the hearts of men by the Lord at his coming, is a faith that only comes from many revelations from the Lord by his light and word in your heart, received by waiting on Him and obeying all you are told to do; it is a faith directly received from Christ himself, which gives great assurance of salvation to come; such faith does not come from: believing the Bible, one religious experience, being baptized in water, responding to an altar call, saying Jesus is Lord, inviting Jesus in your heart to be your Lord, praying, your serving the the Lord without being specifically commanded to do so, etc.
They who have not yet seen this day of the Lords vengeance in themselves, have never seen the day of salvation. The prophet cried out: "Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appears?" And many have been eye-witnesses of the dreadful day-of the Lord, which has appeared in them, wherein all peace has been hidden from their eyes; and all who ever came to see that day of joy and gladness, first knew the terror and the terrible day of the Lord in themselves. Therefore said the apostle: "We, knowing the terror of the Lord, persuade men." Now this day of the Lord comes not with observation, "Lo here, or there;" thus the Pharisees looked that the kingdom of heaven should come, when Christ told them it "as within them." I say, if ever any do behold the bright shining forth of Eternal Life, they must wait in what is of God, through which He will manifest his day and power in them; and as they keep their attention to what manifests evil unto them, and shows them good, they will see how it appears; even as the lightning shines from the east unto the west, so is the coming of the day of the Lord; and the eye which is spiritual sees it. The power and the glory of the Lord, are seen in the day which is pure and spiritual in the heart; and the eye which is pure discovers when it comes, where it comes, and how it comes; while it is hidden from the vultures eye, and is hidden from the eyes which cannot cease from sin.
Now the day of the Lord comes not where the carnal mind might imagine, nor when man wills; neither according to the carnal desire of the carnal heart; neither according to the evil eye that looks out, can it be seen.
Though the day of the Lord is pure light and brightness, and mixes not with night, which is of a contrary nature; yet it is a day of blackness and gloominess, and a notable terrible day unto the wicked, who hate its appearance, and hate the light, who are children of falsehood, and of deceit; whose deeds are evil. It shows or manifests them and their deeds; as it is written in Job 24:17: 'the morning is unto them as the shadow of death.' The appearance of the Lord frightens them.. The day of the Lord will steal upon those who live without restraint upon earth; whose hearts are set to seek after wickedness, as for hidden treasure; and it will come upon them as a thief. They, being children of the night, and bringing forth fruits of darkness, will have their portion in utter darkness. Thus shall the ungodly perish, and have their portion with hypocrites...And though the children, teachers, and believers of this world, who profess the Scriptures, have prayed for the day of the Lord, yet when it comes, it will be as a burning and devouring fire, and they will fall as stubble before it... for whatever is reprovable is manifested by the day in which God appears; and it shall appear, even to the wicked and to the ungodly. What makes your deeds manifest is the day, and it will convince you; for even the wicked shall see His appearance, although to condemnation, shame, and, contempt. 'They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.' For even in the wicked God has a witness which is pure, which checks often, though they regard it not, because the god of this world has blinded their eyes; but when Christ, the Light shall appear, He will make that to see in the wicked, which the god of this world has blinded; and they shall behold Him in dread; and His pure appearance shall make them horribly afraid. Although they would not see, they will be made to see; and they will be made to hear what they would not hear, when God sounds his trumpet, to give warning to all, that the dead, both small and great may arise, 'some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.'*
* Some to shame and everlasting contempt is not everyone else who did not awaken to everlasting life. The Lord says a perpetual shame and everlasting approach applies to the false prophets, Jer 23:30-40, which would include the preachers of Christianity not called by the Lord, not taught by the Lord, not perfected by the Lord, not authorized by the Lord, not sent by the Lord, not speaking with words heard from the Lord immediately before speaking, and not doing only what the Lord shows them to do. Everyone who fails to learn how to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, will meet His fury, (but not forever and accompanied by His compassion).
"The appearance of God, who is eternal life, in his day, in his immeasurable Light, is a great joy, and source of rejoicing to the righteous. For he is to his people an everlasting light, and in his light they come to see light. He reveals the secret mysteries of his kingdom in those who see his day appear in their hearts, which makes all things manifest, even the secrets of the Lord, and his hidden treasure, and his durable riches, which never canker or rust, but are fresh, and keep their pure image and impression. By this Light all the righteous, who have waited on God’s appearance, come to see Him. As it is written, 'Lo! This is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice and be glad in his salvation.' Does he indeed come that you have waited for? Yes, come, 'and his reward is with Him;' and those who see Him find contentment in Him, and in his reward. And what is his reward? Joy, gladness, peace of conscience, assurance of God’s love sealed in the heart by the pure Spirit of the Lord, the streams of Life flowing forth continually from the great deep, which refresh and keep cool in the greatest extremity and heat of temptation; and this is enjoyed by those who have waited and do wait for it; even in the body they bear witness of Him and his coming."
* Notice! Although Howgill states that being born again and entering the Kingdom is coincident in time with the Day of the Lord, the Day of the Lord or the Second Coming of the Lord is not necessarily the same time as entering the kingdom. George Fox experienced the rising of the light (the Day) and the burning fire three years before he entered the kingdom. William Dewsbury's Born Again Sermon shows he endured the baptism of fire and death to be born again into a new world on the Day of the Lord. The Journal of John Burnyeat shows the light and great judgments appearing almost immediately after being convinced; his baptism of fire apparently occurred around the same time as he entered the kingdom, (and all this occurring in a group of believers together). Peter strongly ties the end of the world to the Day of the Lord, and Paul similarly ties being raised from the baptism of death to union and sitting in the heavens with Christ. So apparently, this timing can vary based on the circumstances of the individual believer. According to the Word of the Lord within: "First the light arises, then the kingdom. The arising of the light will be unmistakable; it is an ego-shattering experience." Whatever the duration between events, we know the perfect love of the Lord is working for our ultimate benefit.
3 While waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of Christ, This verse gave the translators fits because they had no alternative to choose, other than the word "hasten." They could not understand how anyone could hasten the coming day of Christ because they didn't understand what the day of Christ was to a believer; with their understanding of a one-time, physical return of Christ to the whole world, they rationalized all manner of symbolic reasonings to explain the word "hasten." But we know that the day of the Lord occurs as Jesus appears in the hearts of individuals who have purified their hearts through the power of the Spirit killing the lusts and passions of their sinful nature. And we know that an individual can hasten that day by spending every available moment waiting on God, listening, watching, and obeying; eventually being able to abide, (dwell, remain), in the light and word of God, Jesus.
Christendom lost the keys to salvation, which is to heed and obey the commands of God heard while patiently and persistently waiting on God:
to those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation. Heb 9:28
Those who are persistently and patiently waiting on God, see Jesus appear in their hearts, and see Jesus bring their salvation, which is to be delivered (freed) from all sin. To wait on God is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him; only those who heed and obey Him receive eternal salvation. Heb 5:9
Being make perfect, he [Jesus] became the author and source of eternal salvation to all those who heed and obey him. Heb 5:9
Salvation is to be delivered (freed) from all sin, even the desires, through persistent obedience to the Spirit that mortifies the selfish human spirit on the inward cross of self-denial. You must persistently and patiently wait for Him in silence to hear his commands, as you listen and watch; then heed and obey Him.
If a man doesn't see Christ appear in his heart, bringing salvation, then he will see Christ after he dies; and that will be a dreadful experience, as Francis Howgill describes in his writing SOME OF THE MYSTERIES OF GOD'S KINGDOM DECLARED.
But if a man does heed and obey the commands he hears, as he persistently and patiently waits on God, that man will experience a beautiful, wonderful appearing of Jesus to bring his salvation, which Francis Howgill also describes in his writing SOME OF THE MYSTERIES OF GOD'S KINGDOM DECLARED.
Despite the fact that the Bible is full of testimony regarding waiting on God both in the Old Testament and the New Testament; and that waiting as the key to salvation in Old and New Testaments was also referenced many times; Christendom reads this verse and thinks waiting for Him is to wait for prayers from their carnal mind to be answered, or waiting for Him to physically come to the earth to judge all; so Christendom's waiting is singing about Jesus coming, hoping for war in the Middle East that might signal his soon return, speculating on how the mark of the beast will be forced on everyone, speculating on who is the antichrist, going to sect services, reading the Bible, etc. For many centuries Christendom has missed Jesus, waiting to reveal himself in every man who heeds and obeys Him, just like the Jews missed Jesus because they were looking for a physical king to come and rule. The New Testament is full of references to the second appearance of Jesus being then, not thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died. In addition Paul, Jesus preaching, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Christendom blithely ignores this gaping incongruity between what the Bible plainly states vs. what they are taught by their blind guides. It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear if the past 100 generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.
There is an entire web page on this site devoted to this second appearance: The Second Appearance of Jesus is Within the Hearts of Purified 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.
5 grow in grace. If grace is instant salvation, how can you grow in grace? What more grace is there than salvation? Of course, grace is not instant salvation. Grace is a teaching process of repentance from lusts to godly living in purity, bringing salvation and seeing God.
Grace is correctly defined by the Apostle Paul in Titus 2:11-14: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; as we receive the blessed fulfillment of our hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin], and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14.
(Whoever commits sin also practices lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4)
Therefore be resolute of mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:13.
So the culmination of grace is brought to you at the end, the revealing of Christ within a man. The Kingdom and salvation are brought to you by the grace of God; you see Jesus bring your salvation.