658 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 55 - The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers -2

658: The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 55

The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers – Part 2

II Peter 2:9 – 3:18

As we study the Scriptures together, hopefully you’ll take it beyond the simple level and study on your own. My, it thrills our hearts when people write or call and say how they have gotten really excited about studying the Word of God because it is the most exciting book on earth! But, as I’ve said before, the scoffer, 99 times out of 100, has never really studied this Book. And he’s just scoffing from ignorance because anybody who really studies this can’t help but understand that it’s the supernaturally inspired Word of God.

All right, let’s get right back where we left off in II Peter chapter 2 (we left off in verse 20), and I think we’ll read it again.

II Peter 2:20a

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge….” In other words, these false teachers have enough understanding; they’re not totally rejecting everything, but after they’ve escaped the pollutions of the world that has the corruptions of it.

II Peter 2:20b

“…through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, (that is by the corruption) the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”

Remember, in our last taping we went back to Simon, the sorcerer, in the book of Acts – and how that, after Samaria received the Gospel, Simon wanted that power as well. But he never became a true believer. Oh, he made all the outward appearances because otherwise the guys wouldn’t have baptized him, and he made a profession but he never had a heart-born salvation. And, consequently, if we can take a little bit from ancient church history evidently Simon went on to become one of the biggest thorns in the side of the early Church. He just became a complete adversary of the truth.

All right, so now then, we can go on into verse 21 and these kinds of people who had had enough understanding of the truth that they can use it to enhance their own false teaching. Verse 21.

II Peter 2:21

“For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Now what’s Peter saying? It would have been better, so far as their end-judgment is concerned, had they never had any knowledge of the truth at all. They’d have been better off to go into eternity as an ignorant pagan, than to have had enough understanding to have embraced it and then turn around and reject it.

Now, I think another example of this (and we taught this quite in depth when we were back in the Hebrews lessons, and that) would be back in Hebrews chapter 6, where we have the same kind of a scenario as with this Simon – only Simon was a little more, I suppose, to the extreme. He was a false teacher and a follower of satanic magicians and so forth – whereas these Hebrew people that are addressed here were just simply Judaisers who had been steeped in Judaism and the Mosaic Law (and they saw a little bit of Paul’s Gospel of Grace which is faith in the finished work of the cross + nothing else for salvation). But they, too, turn turned away from that and went back into Judaism. So let’s look at it in Hebrews 6:4.

Hebrews 6:4-6a

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, (see we’re talking about the same thing. They’ve had enough understanding, they could have latched on to it) and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,” (the Holy Spirit had done His work) 5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (my, they got a good view of everything) 6. If they shall fall away,.…” Remember when we studied this, the Greek word was ‘parapipto,’ if I remember correctly, and parapipto was a Greek word that gave the idea of a woman who scornfully turned from her husband to go into adultery. And that’s what these people are doing. They’ve seen enough of the truth; they could have embraced it; they could have had it, but they scornfully turned around and rejected it and went back into their Judaism, and that’s why Paul then uses these words in verse 6:

Hebrews 6:6

“If they shall fall away, (if they shall scornfully reject all this) to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

All right, now Peter puts it in a little different language, but it’s the same setting. Only now instead of talking about good mainline Judaising Jews, now he’s talking about Jews who were false teachers. And I’m sure he was talking about Jews – Jews who are false teachers. Now verse 22.

II Peter 2:22

“”But it is happened unto them (these false teachers who had enough knowledge that they could have gone on into the truth and latched on to it, but instead, used it for merchandise, used it to enhance their own monetary situation.) according to the true proverb, (that comes out of the Old Testament economy now) The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” In other words, unless you can actually change the nature of these creatures, they’re still going to go back to their old way. And it’s the same way with a person who partakes of a false salvation. They can make a verbal commitment and they can make an outward profession but, until it comes down into the heart and transforms their nature, they’re going to go right back into their old lifestyle. And we see it over and over and over. But, for the person that is truly born from above, he’s truly had a salvation experience – he’s not going to be like the hog that has just been cleaned up and goes back to his old mud hole. No, they’re going to turn their backs on the old life and they’re going to start growing in the new. And Peter uses the same kind of an example as Paul would use in his writings to us.

All right, so there’s the problem, these people embrace enough to make it merchandisable. The Lord Himself warns us of these false teachers, something that we all have to be aware of. In fact, come back to Matthew 24 where, again, the Lord Himself is warning against the false teachers that would be coming in the last days. And, of course, we know that we’re approaching them. We’re positive that we’re approaching the last days that the Lord is referring to in Matthew 24. Lets just drop in at verse 4. And this is from the lips of the Lord Himself.

Matthew 24:4

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, (to the Twelve as they were asking the questions. Watch this carefully) Take heed (or Paul would say beware) that no man (what?) deceive you.” What’s the warning? Don’t be deceived! Don’t be taken in by false teachers. Here’s the reason, verse 5.

Matthew 24:5a

“For many shall come in my name,….” They’re going to make no apology for talking in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And they’ll drop that Name glibly as part and parcel of their makeup. But the Lord reminds us.

Matthew 24:5

“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; (and by it they’re going to what?) and shall deceive many.” And we’re seeing it. My, when you see all these vast crowds come rolling into these places (oh, I’m sure the Lord’s going to save some of them, hopefully), but don’t you believe for a minute that these vast crowds are all experiencing a true born-from-above experience. If they were, we wouldn’t have the problems in the world that we’ve got. It would have an impact on the community, but it doesn’t. Those vast crowds don’t change things a bit, and one of the reasons is that most of these people don’t ever get to hear Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4, for the salvation message. Most of those people at the meetings are just taken for their money and get lip service.

So the whole warning is, don’t be taken in by all these who can use the name of the Lord Jesus and seemingly preach the Gospel; and yet, with it, bring in as Paul calls them, “their damnable heresies.” Hey, they’re our sign to beware that this is maybe not the truth that they claim it is.

All right, come back with me to II Peter now; we’re ready for chapter 3. Remember that Peter is writing to Jewish believers of the Kingdom economy. There’s nothing of Paul’s Gospel of salvation in here. You can’t find a single reference of salvation by faith and faith alone in Christ’s finished work of the cross. Oh, he certainly alludes to the fact that Christ is Savior and all that, but it’s not a presentation of the Pauline Gospel of salvation – that Christ died for the sins of the world, and that He was buried and that He arose again the third day, and that we must believe it today. Paul’s Gospel of salvation is not here in these Jewish epistles because this is still Jews who had been under that Kingdom economy. When I say the Kingdom economy, remember, the Jews under Peter’s preaching had to believe that Jesus was the Promised Messiah and King for their salvation. That’s what they were to believe. And when they believed it, they became believers and they became members of the Jerusalem church.

But it was a Jewish church. There are no Gentiles involved whatsoever. And those are the offshoots, then, from the Jerusalem church that scattered because of Saul of Tarsus’ persecution back in Acts 8:1 – and they established other little congregations around that end of the Mediterranean, up along the Galilee. But these churches, I think, were predominately operating in Western Asia Minor, or Turkey as we now know it today, and those are the same seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation. All were in what we know of as Western Turkey. All right, so remember, these are the Jews to whom Peter is writing.

Also remember, when we introduced the book of James, those Jews knew nothing of Paul’s breaking open of the timeline for this Age of Grace for the past 2,000 years. The only thing they knew was the timeline as it was prophesied in the Old Testament (like in Psalms chapter 2), and as Jesus and Peter had continued it. And they looked for everything to be fulfilled within their lifetime, a matter of 20 or 30 years, and Christ would usher in the Tribulation that would bring His Second Coming. He could bring in the Kingdom, and all of these Jews were looking forward to that. But we know that never happened, because Paul’s Age of Grace, which was not prophesied in the Old Testament came into being, thus setting all of that aside for a season.

So II Peter, like I Peter, is preparing these people for the pressures they would be coming under because of their faith and the promises of the prophetic Scriptures. That’s why he’s always going back to the Old Testament. You never see anything from Paul appear in Peter. Peter isn’t quoting Paul until he tells us to go to Paul in the last few verses to find salvation.

So always be aware of this; that Peter and James and John are writing to these Jewish believers in view of the fact that the Old Testament prophecies are just going to keep unfolding – and the Tribulation, Second Coming, and Kingdom Age is right out in front of these Jewish believers. All right, you’ll see it as we come along. Now verse 1, and this second epistle was probably written about 10 years after the first.

II Peter 3:1

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:” In other words, the true believers that he’s referring to, “by way of remembrance.”

II Peter 3:2a

“That ye may be mindful of the words (now watch this, highlight it, because this fits what I just said) which were spoken before by the holy (who?) prophets,.…” Who were the prophets? Your Old Testament writers. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Hosea, etc. And what did all the Old Testament prophets foresee? The coming of Israel’s Messiah and King and then the Tribulation. Of course, He’d be rejected and go back to Heaven – and then the Tribulation – and then their Messiah would return and set up the Kingdom, and they were looking for that.

Okay, so this is why the constant reminder is “go back to the promises of the holy prophets.” Now let’s show you what Paul says again in Romans 15 verse 8. We’ve read it often enough some of you should just know it from memory now; but this fits right along with what Peter is saying, that everything written by the prophets is now right out in front of them.

Romans 15:8

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Israel) for the truth of God, (and here’s why He came) to confirm (or fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”Well, who were the fathers? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Moses and then the prophets. And Christ came to fulfill all those promises. And what were the promises? The King and the Kingdom. That was basically what they were looking for. The glories of the Kingdom. My, who wouldn’t? Heaven on earth! That should excite anybody. And so that was the hope of Israel. And it still is for a Jew that has any knowledge at all. What’s his daily prayer? Next year Jerusalem! Next year Jerusalem! And the Jews have been uttering that for hundreds and hundreds of years.

And then the ignoramuses of the world tell us that the Jews have no business there? They’ve been looking forward to their homeland for 2,000 years. Next year Jerusalem! Why? Because that’s where the King will come. That’s where the Heaven on earth will originate. And so all of the prophets were looking forward to that. All right, back to II Peter – and so he is in line with that.

II Peter 3:2

“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, (the Old Testament writers. And of course, that just carried on through into Christ’s earthly ministry.) and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:” They were all working on that same timeline coming out of the prophetic Scriptures. The coming of the Messiah. Rejected. Crucified. Raised from the dead. And Peter proclaims that in Acts chapter 2, “You killed Him but God raised Him from the dead. He can still fulfill the promises.”

He went back to Glory and He’s going to sit at the Father’s right hand and what’s the next word in Psalms 110? “Until.” Until, and then He’ll arise from that seated position and He’s yet going to fulfill the promises made to Israel. And we’re getting closer every day. That’s why the whole Middle East is in a turmoil. I can’t figure out why people can’t see it. Why isn’t all this turmoil over in the Orient someplace? Why isn’t it over in Western Europe? Why is it in the Middle East? Because at the core of it all is Jerusalem, the Nation of Israel. Verse 3.

II Peter 3:3

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, (false teachers again) walking after their own (what?) lusts,” Well what in the world is their lusts? Desires. And it doesn’t have to be sexual. My goodness, you can lust for money. You can lust for palaces and houses and land. See? And that’s what people do when they start getting money. The more they get, the more they want. Remember the old Texas rancher? Somebody asked him, “When in the world are you going to stop buying land?” Well he says, “When I’ve got everything around me.” Well that never stops. Every time you buy another half-section, there’s another half-section on the other side that’s still there. And so if you’re just going to buy until you’ve got everything that’s next to you, that never ends. And that is the lustful makeup of these scoffers and false teachers, and Peter is warning his people that this is a sign of the last days.

Now, the timeline goes like this: the time of Christ’s first advent, His three years of ministry and His ascension. And then was to come the seven years of Tribulation, Christ would return and set up the thousand-year Kingdom. It would end and then we’d go into eternity. Now you see, this whole ball of wax from Christ’s first advent to the ushering in of eternity in Scripture is called what? Last days.

All of this was to be consummated to bring the world to the place where we’d go into eternity. Now remember that, had it not been for the 2,000 years of the Church Age, all of this, His first advent and then the seven years of Tribulation, would have been a matter of 15 years or so. But when you throw in the thousand-year Kingdom, of course, now we’re talking about more time. But nevertheless, look at all the Scripture the thousand-year-reign of Christ is associated with – these prophecies that are all called the “last days.” Now when you look at it in that light, maybe it makes a little more sense when we talk about in “these last days.”

All right, come back to chapter 3. So Peter says that in these last days as they’re approaching now; the Tribulation, the Second Coming and the Kingdom; one of the signs that they were in the last days was the appearance of scoffers. Well, they had them then. But that doesn’t cancel them out because we’ve got them now.

I told a lady here a while back, and I think it’s so apropos. They were visiting us and we were sitting at our kitchen table and she was talking about an experience that she had had years back – sort of a bizarre experience. A great white light filled her room or something like that and she had always just assumed that that was Jesus and that was her salvation. (II Corinthians 11:14) But after she got to watching our program and understood the Gospel of Grace, she became truly saved. So she’s sharing this with me, and she said, “Les this bothers me. All those years I was thinking that that bright light experience had saved me, and it didn’t. I was lost.”

I said, “So what? The important thing is you’re saved now!” So regardless of what the past may be, if you’re a believer today, that’s what counts. Are you saved now?

Okay, now Peter is more or less saying the same thing. That we’ve got to understand that all of the signs of the soon-coming Tribulation and the Messiah of Israel were right in front of them; they were seeing it then. But don’t chuck that aside just because that’s all past; because here we are 2,000 years later and the whole scenario is back on the scene. Remember I pointed this out, that just as surely as we had the Roman Empire and Israel in the land (as all these prophecies were ready to be fulfilled), here we are 2,000 years later and once again Israel is back in the land; the Roman Empire is reappearing in the Common Market, and so everything is now reset. It’s reset and ready to go again, see?

All right, now keep that in mind then that as Peter is proclaiming this to his Jewish believers in preparation for the end and the last days. Even though we’ve had a 2,000-year interval, we are, once again, in the same place. Israel is back in the land. The Roman Empire is reappearing. The scoffers are coming in like never before in human history. Everything is reset. Déjà vu. Okay, verse 4, and these scoffers will say:

II Peter 3:4a

“And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers.…” These are Jews that are saying this, because who was constantly referring to the fathers? Well, Jews were. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were the fathers of Israel. And so this is what the scoffers are saying, “Why, ever since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we’ve been hearing this stuff. It’s never going to happen.”

II Peter 3:4b

“…for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” What are they ignoring? Things aren’t always the same as they were from the creation. There’s one great big upheaval that intervened between creation and when Peter was writing, and what was it? Noah’s Flood. See, Noah’s Flood totally revamped the whole earth. And so he goes on into that. That’s the next subject. All right, the scoffers say, “All things continue as they were from the creation, nothing has ever changed.” Peter says, “Wait a minute!” Verse 5.

II Peter 3:5a

“For this they willingly are ignorant.…” I like that term, “willingly ignorant,” because that’s most people. They don’t want to know the truth. They just simply say, I don’t want to hear it. What is that? Willingly ignorant. We get many phone calls from people who say they show some of these things they have learned to individuals that should be able to say, “Well, just let me study this for a while and then I’ll see if I can agree with you or not.” But they won’t. They just slam the Book shut and say, “I don’t believe that!” Well, what are they? Willingly ignorant. All right, now in this case, Peter is talking about Noah’s Flood.

II Peter 3:5

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:” (and they are willingly ignorant.)

657 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 55 - The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers

657: The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 55

The Mark of False Teachers and Scoffers

II Peter 2:9 – 3:18

Today we’ll begin with IIPeter chapter 2 verse 9. Now of course, in this chapter Peter is laying out the warnings against false teachers, and Paul does the same thing. Paul warns us over and over here in this Church Age that there are going to be false teachers coming in. “Wolves in sheep’s clothing.” And these wolves are going to destroy the flocks; and Peter says the same thing, even though Peter is addressing Jewish believers – yet the warning is still the same, that the great adversary, Satan, will oppose God’s work in any shape or form.

Remember, Peter has been giving us examples of how God has dealt with those who succumb to false teaching in His times of judgment. And you remember in our last program, we were referring to the flood, and we referred to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. All right, and then we come in today at verse 9.

II Peter 2:9

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”

Come back with me to John’s Gospel because the first thing I think we’d better point out is that, all through Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, we have these two groups of people that are brought before us constantly. Not only Jew and Gentile. That, of course, is two separate categories. But the ones we’re talking about today are the just and the unjust.

The saved and the lost. You’ve got them all through human history – those two divisions of people. Whether it was before the Law, whether it was during the Law, whether it was during Christ’s earthly ministry, whether it was after His ministry, or whether it’s the Apostle Paul and the Church Age; it doesn’t make one whit of difference – there are always these two classes of people – the saved and the lost; or as Jesus speaks of them here, the just and the unjust. All right, here in the Gospel of John chapter 5, He makes the same delineation that Peter does, and this is just to show how that Scripture delineates. There is that clear-cut division of the human race into two classes. Verse 28.

John 5:28

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,” In other words, everyone that has ever lived and died is in that verse. Now verse 29.

John 5:29

“And shall come forth; they that have done good, (the just, the believers, the saved) unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, (the unsaved, the lost) unto the resurrection of damnation.” Or condemnation. And so here you have those two categories of people – saved and lost – and they’re never going to lose their position, in whatever they are in, after dying. All right, now back to II Peter chapter 2 – Peter is saying the same thing as we look at that verse again.

II Peter 2:9

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” He will reserve the unjust, the lost, the unbelieving world, unto the day of judgment to be punished! Now, you know the liberals don’t like that, do they? The liberals don’t like to think that we have a God Who’s going to deal with the rebellious. The liberals would like to tell us that God, in His mercy and so forth, is somehow or other going to overlook all of their evil and their lack of faith, or someday they’ll come to the place where God will spare them anyway – but there’s only one thing wrong with that kind of thinking. “That’s Not Scripture!” That’s not what the Book says. They’re going to come to their day of punishment, the day of judgment.

II Peter 2:10a

“But chiefly (that word ‘chiefly’ always says paramount, or the number one thing) them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government,….” Does that ring a bell lately? All you have to do is just think back a few weeks; you’ve got these people everywhere.

II Peter 2:10b

“…Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” How does another place put it? They have no compunction about calling white – black. Or calling black – white. They have no absolutes. And so they run off at the mouth with all of this stuff and do nothing but cause turmoil. Well, Peter just lays it on the line. And isn’t it amazing? Peter is back here 1,900 years ago, and you know what? The human race hasn’t changed a bit. Not one bit. Oh we may have more technology. We may get from one place to another a little faster, but personality wise – the human race has not changed a bit.

II Peter 2:11

“Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” Even the angels don’t pay them any mind because it would almost be wasted effort.

II Peter 2:12a

“But these….” And I can just about put most liberals around the world here – whether it’s political or religious liberals, liberals are liberals. And they have no compunction about outright lying or twisting the truth.

I remember one was being interviewed on Sean Hannity’s Fox TV program and the guy was quoting Sean as having said something. Sean said, “I never said anything like that. I have never even said anything close to that. Can’t you people ever tell the truth? Do you always have to lie?” Well that’s it, see? And Peter is saying the same thing. These people cannot do anything but speak “evil of dignities.” And now verse 12. Peter, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, puts them down at the level of brute beasts. Boy, that’s awful isn’t it?

II Peter 2:12a

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed….” A beast has no compunction about life and death – technically. I don’t believe that totally, because I always say an animal will do anything to spare its own life. But the lesson is, these false teachers have as much conscience about calling good things bad and bad things good as a beast. They have no moral turpitude, they have no moral anchor.

II Peter 2:12b

“…speak evil of the things that they understand not:….” They rattle around like ‘a BB in a tin can.’ That’s about what Peter is saying. They speak of things that they know nothing of.

II Peter 2:12c

“…and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;” Well, you remember when Paul was at Mars Hill? And what did all the philosophers of the day call Paul? ‘The Babbler!” The Babbler, which means he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But you know what? The truth of the matter is – he was the only one that did. And the truth of the matter is, if you go and visit Mars Hill today, there’s a big bronze plaque honoring – not the philosophers of the day, but who? Paul. And it’s the things that Paul spoke that are still part and parcel of Scripture, really.

And so isn’t that typical of the world. Oh, they scoff at everything pertaining to the truth of Scripture but, yet, everything they say is nothing more than a ‘BB in a tin can.’ They just rattle at the mouth. All right, Peter knew it and by inspiration, puts it in here so plainly “And they will perish in their own corruption.” Now verse 13.

II Peter 2:13

“And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;” You know what these people are? Dyed in the wool hypocrites. They can talk out of both sides of their mouths. They can be whatever the occasion demands, but basically they’re false.

II Peter 2:14a

“Having eyes full of adultery, (see how all this fits together) and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls:….” In other words, they’re not content to live in their own filth – they’ve got to constantly recruit others to join them, see?

II Peter 2:14b-15a

“…beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15. Which have forsaken the right way,….” Now this is not a very pretty picture, but it’s truth. This is where so many of these people are existing.

II Peter 2:15b

“…and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam (which was way back there in Numbers, remember?) the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” Now you remember the story of Balaam? How that, as the Israelites were coming out of their wilderness experience and the Lord was bringing them around to come in from the east side across Jordan and as they were coming through Moab, the king knew that he couldn’t do anything with them militarily. There was no way he could obliterate those millions of Jews, or Israelites, coming through his part of the world – so he sends his emissaries out to the east to this false prophet Balaam for the sole purpose of bringing Balaam back and putting a curse on Israel.

Because old Balak figured that if he could get Balaam to put a curse on Israel – then Israel, by virtue of their spiritual rebellion and whatever else would follow, would be destroyed by God, and then he wouldn’t have to. But it didn’t work, see? God wouldn’t let Balaam put a curse on Israel. And Balaam himself, when he saw the multitude of the Israelites, said, “I can’t do that.” But he just about did anyway. And you remember what his final act was? He convinced Balak to get all the beautiful young women of Moab to entice the Jewish men and cause them to commit adultery; and thousands of them did. But it wasn’t enough to bring the destruction of Israel by a merciful God.

But this is what Balaam was trying to do because he had been offered half the kingdom. In other words, he was going to do it for what? For money! Money. Just look at the world today. What people won’t do for huge chunks of money. And it’s all because of what? One word. Corruption! Corruption! All right, same way in the Spiritual world as it is in the material or the business world. So “he loved the wages of unrighteousness.” In other words, he was willing to destroy Israel because of what the king had promised him if he could bring it off.

II Peter 2:16

“But was rebuked for his iniquity: (that is Balaam) the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” Now there’s a place in the Bible where the scoffer likes to scoff. Whoever heard of a donkey talking? Well, granted, ordinarily it doesn’t. But on the other hand, Jesus Himself said “that with God nothing is impossible.” That’s nothing for God to make a donkey talk. Nothing! And we know from Scripture that it did. It turned its head back to old Balaam and really gave him the whole ‘what-for.’ And so he was rebuked through the donkey.

II Peter 2:17a

“These.…” Now who are we talking about? False teachers. These people who don’t really care how truthful they are, or how accurate they are with the Scriptures – they’ll use the Scripture, absolutely; that’s how they get people hooked. They use the Scriptures and they just feed the multitudes with their poison. One way of killing somebody without anyone knowing what was going on would be to lace their meat with arsenic, just a little at a time, and over time, the arsenic would kill them. Well that’s what false teachers do. They don’t just come right up into a pulpit and say, “Okay, I’m a false teacher. I’m going to give you a whole bunch of garbage.” No. They come up into that pulpit and they’re as smooth as oil and the people fall for it. It’s not Scriptural. It’s not Biblical. Most of the time it’s half-truths. And the people are falling for it by the millions. All right, so now Peter continues then these false teachers.

II Peter 2:17a

“These are wells without water,….” Now for us in our day and time it doesn’t mean that much, but you see in the Middle East, a well was everything because water was scarce. All right, so now Peter by inspiration uses that very example; that these false teachers are like a water well where somebody would be all encouraged, “Oh there’s wells!” But it’d be dry. It absolutely wouldn’t give a drop to sustain their thirst. And that’s what these false teachers are. “They are wells without water.”

II Peter 2:17b

“…clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.” All right, now I think the clouds that Peter is talking about here are referred to in another place, maybe in Jude as “clouds without water.” Now, I can remember the 1930’s as a kid on the farm up there in Iowa, and we were as dry as a bone – the dust was blowing. And a cloud would go over and my Dad would get all encouraged – maybe that could build into a thunderstorm. And then all of a sudden, poof – it’s gone. Well what was it? Total disappointment. All right, that’s what false teachers are, and I’m afraid we’re seeing it all around us today.

Oh, they come on the horizon and they have all the flim-flam and everything, and they can put out their garbage, but it’s the same thing. It has nothing that will sustain the spirit – they’re like an empty or a dry well; they’re like clouds without water. All right, let’s move on. Verse 18.

II Peter 2:18

“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.” They have survived God’s judgment thus far, and they’re spewing out their false teaching. They’re spewing out all of the invitations to wealth and materialism, and if this isn’t exactly what we’re seeing today. The multitudes are following this stuff. Very few want to follow truth. But, oh, they’ll follow this false stuff like it’s the last thing going.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words, make merchandise of you;.…” “They make merchandise of you!” Now what does it mean to make merchandise of you? They’re going to capitalize on their subjects. And what are they after? Your money! They’re after your money. They’re making merchandise of you. After all, why do you sell merchandise? To gain the money. And that’s what these people are doing. They’re picking the pockets of the millions – making merchandise of them, and you know who they are.Well, they just fall right in line with all these things that Peter is talking about and nothing has changed even though it’s been 1,900 years. All right, now let’s move on to verse 19.

II Peter 2:19a

“While they promise them (what?) liberty, (oh, they can make rash promises) they themselves are the servants of (what?) corruption:.…” Now this isn’t nice language. I know it isn’t, but it’s the truth. This is the way it is. These false teachers are nothing but the servants of corruption.

II Peter 2:19b

“…for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” Now I suppose here’s where people say the King James is hard to understand. Well, all it means here is that, if someone finally gets the upper hand over you and you become his slave or his servant, then he’s the master. He’s the master, you’re the servant. See? All right, and this is what Peter’s using; and so, for those people who have come under someone else’s overlordship, it’s the same one then who has been brought into bondage. All right, now verse 20.

II Peter 2:20

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” Now, an old boy comes to mind back in Acts, chapter 8. Here Philip, you remember, goes up to Samaria and is preaching. Acts chapter 8 verse 9, and we’re going to do this as quickly as we can because this fits the description perfectly of what Peter is talking about.

Acts 8:9,10

“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, (powers of Satan) and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10. To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.” No, he has the power of Satan. See how easily he deceived all these people?

Acts 8:11-13

“And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. (so he’s not using the power of God, he’s using the power of Satan.) 12. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (now watch this. This is Simon the sorcerer the false teacher) 13. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” Providentially, through Philip.

Acts 8:14-18

“Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15. Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: [that is these that had become believers under Philip’s preaching] 16. (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,” All right, now Peter and John come and lay hands on them – and remember this is still back in the Jewish economy – this has nothing to do with you and I in the Church Age. This was all part and parcel of the Jerusalem Jewish Church. All right, then “They laid their hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit and when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostle’s hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them (what?) money.” What’s on that guy’s brain? All he can think of is money. And he doesn’t care how he gets it. All right, now, when he saw what the disciples could do he thought, “Man I want this because this will generate more income.”

Acts 8:19-20

“Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” (can’t you just see the guy?) 20. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Now, listen, isn’t that exactly what we’re seeing today? Just think, this is almost being played out again. Now verse 21. This was the true heart of this Simon.

Acts 8:21-23

“Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” Hey, the guy up in the previous verse said he had believed and been baptized. You see what I’m driving at? He went through all the motions but he never had heart-faith. He was just a professor without possessing. And again the world is full of those. And they go through all this rigmarole because of all the promises of wealth and money and health and what have you.

656 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 55 - 2 Peter 1:1 - 2:8 - Part 2

656: 2 Peter 1:1 – 2:8 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 55

II Peter 1:1 – 2:8 – Part 2

Let’s start where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be II Peter chapter 2 and verse 3. I think most of you probably realize that II Peter chapter 2 and the little book of Jude are almost word-for-word, so when we get to Jude we’ll probably be repeating a lot of this stuff. But it bears repeating as it is so apropos for the day in which we live, where false teaching is just coming in like a flood.

And of course, the Internet doesn’t help because you can get almost anything you want off the Internet. I think this is what’s happened to a lot of our preachers, bless their hearts. Instead of studying and preparing their sermon, they’re just taking the easy way out and clicking on the Internet. Well, that’s a sad commentary, but if you learn something wrong, then you’re going to pass it on wrong!

All right, it was no different back here when Peter and Paul were writing. As I’ve showed in the last half-hour, Paul complained in Timothy that everybody in Asia Minor had already turned against him. Why? Because the false teachers came in and came across with something that appealed to the flesh. All right, now Peter is up against the same thing with his Jewish believers; that, even among them, there would come these false teachers with their pernicious ways and who speak evil of the truth. Now verse 3.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness…” In other words, again like we said in our closing moments in the last program, coveting is the beginning of everything. I’ve always made the statement and I still say it, “You cannot break one of the Ten Commandments without coveting first.” Because the foundation of all sin is coveting. Now verse 3 again.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:….” Now when you think of merchandise what do you think of? Money! So what are they really after? They’re after your material things. They’re after your money. And they’ll do it with their false teaching. They’ll cash in on you. That’s a good way of putting it, isn’t it? They’ll just cash in on you.

II Peter 2:3b

“…whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” In other words, their eternal doom is awaiting them. Evidently they must never think of it, but it is. Their eternal doom is waiting for them. Now verse 4. Here are Peter’s reasons for saying what he said. God hasn’t changed. God still operates the way He always has. And when He gets to a point where He can take it no more, He drops His wrath and judgment. And it’s going to happen again. The world is getting ripe for a new judgment which, of course, we think will be the seven years of Tribulation. The world is getting ripe for it. Every day these false teachers completely undermine the truth; every day the fleshpots of this world are capitalizing on the human weaknesses; and someday soon God’s wrath is going to fall.

II Peter 2:4

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” In other words, that started way back, I think, between verse 1 and verse 2 of Genesis. Which, in verse 1, you have the perfect creation. Let’s go back and look at it. My it’s been a long time since we’ve taught anything from Genesis, hasn’t it? Maybe it’s about time we refresh peoples’ memories.

Genesis chapter 1. I know that probably 50% of Christendom will disagree with me, but that’s their privilege. That doesn’t bother me a bit. I’ve always said I’m going to teach it the way I feel the Lord has opened it up to me. And I’m certainly not going to lead anybody into a lost eternity because of it.

Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning (before anything ever appeared) God created the heaven and the earth.” Now the God of this Book is not a God that does anything less than perfect, is He? He makes it perfect and I think the Hebrew word “create” here, out of nothing, indicated something perfect. Without a flaw. And then all of a sudden in verse 2 something has happened because, all of a sudden, it’s not a perfect earth. In fact I call it a mess. It’s a swamp. It’s covered with water.

Genesis 1:2

“And the earth was without form, and (what?) void; (it was of no use) and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In other words, the earth was covered with water. The sun and the moon and the stars had been blotted out. Everything was back into total darkness. Well, what in the world happened? Well again, I didn’t plan to do this but, I guess, maybe it’s for a reason. This is what I think happened after that beautiful, beautiful creation of verse 1. My it’s been about 13 years since we taught Genesis on television – and the last time, we taught this. All right, Ezekiel 28:13 where God is speaking through the prophet to an individual, and He says:

Ezekiel 28:13a

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;.…” Now I always have to stop when I teach some of these things. How many personalities were in the Garden of Eden, not counting God Himself? Three. Adam, Eve and Satan. Okay, so, whoever God is talking to, it’s one of those three. “Thou hast been in Eden….”

Ezekiel 28:13b

“…every precious stone was thy covering, (and then He names them) the sardius, topaz, and the diamond. the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” So we know that we’re not talking about a person of the Godhead, we’re talking about a created individual. Now verse 14 it tells us who it is.

Ezekiel 28:14a

“Thou art the anointed cherub (an angel) that covereth; (or ruleth is a better word in the Hebrew here. Here we have an angel who was ruling and reigning. And God says,) and I have set thee so: (I’ve put you in this place of authority) thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;….” Now remember a mountain in the Old Testament is a ‘kingdom.’ Now there are no human beings yet, as Adam and Eve weren’t on the scene yet when this angel was ruling – it was an angelic kingdom.

Ezekiel 28:14b

“…thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” Those gemstones up there in verse 13, the diamond and so forth. Now verse 15.

Ezekiel 28:15

“Thou wast (past tense) perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, (What’s the next word?) till (for a period of time this angel was perfect, he was sinless. But there came a time) iniquity was found in thee.” Now, God will not stand iniquity without doing something about it – in angels any more than humans. All right, now you have to come back to Isaiah chapter 14 to find out who this angel was, and what his sin was. He’s named in verse 12. Transcribers note: And it’s the only place his name appears in Scripture, and normally only in the KING JAMES – which I think means he’s removed it from the other translations, as it does show him in a bad light.

Isaiah 14:12

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (because of his angelic position as the ruler over that angelic kingdom) how art thou cut down to the ground.(why? Because of iniquity) which didst weaken the nations!” So we know that we’re talking about Lucifer, whom we know as Satan, the Devil. Now verse 13; here’s the past that led up to his fall.

Isaiah 14:13-14

“For thou hast said in thine heart, (he becomes an egotist. And this ruling angel over an earthly glorious gemstone-filled kingdom of angels says) I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, (which is normally the position of God in Scripture) in the sides of the north: 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (now he epitomizes all of his dreams with this statement) I will be like the most High.” What’s he trying to do? Usurp the place of God. And what does God say? “Oh, no you don’t!” And so what did He do? He cast him down. Satan’s first casting out is when he first fell in this rebellion. But, now, come back with me all the way to Revelation and we’ll see what Peter’s talking about; these angels that fell, well, what are they and who are they?

We pick them up now in Revelation chapter 12 verse 4, where in his rebellion in assuming to take over the throneroom of God, evidently one-third of the angels over whom he was ruling followed him in the rebellion. And here in Revelation we pick them up.

Revelation 12:4

“And his tail (that is the serpent’s, the dragon’s, Satan as he’s symbolized in Scripture) drew the third part of the stars of heaven, (now the stars here are the angels) and did cast them to the earth: (and the rest of the verse skips ahead many years) and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (and that was at Bethlehem)

All right, now then if you’ll just back up a couple of pages to the little book of Jude again, right in front of Revelation, we pick up these same fallen angels in verse 6. Now you can put a whole scenario together, hopefully. Here we have this ruling angel over this glorious earthly kingdom, which was filled with the gemstones of fire – beauty beyond description. And he had a whole population of angels over which he ruled. But, he got proud and lifted up and attempted to usurp God’s kingdom, throne and rule; and evidently one-third of these angels consorted with him. All right now, verse 6 in Jude.

Jude 1:6

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, (in other words, as ruling or being under Lucifer’s rule on that original glorious planet) but left their own habitation, (in other words, they attempted to follow Lucifer in his rebellion) he (God) hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”

All right, now then, just back up a few pages to II Peter and maybe this will make some sense. II Peter chapter 2 now verse 4:

II Peter 2:4

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, (who rebelled against God’s authority and attempted to follow Lucifer) but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” In perfect accord with Jude and Revelation, see? All right, now we come to the next event that Peter can relate to; verse 5, when again the mass of humanity rebelled against the God of creation and, again, in their wickedness, God had to move in with a judgment.

II Peter 2:5a

“And spared not the old world, (destroyed it with a flood) but saved Noah the eighth person,….” This is always mind-boggling to me. Now you want to realize there could have very easily been four or more billion people at the time of the flood. Four billion is the number I’ve used over the years, because I had a friend back in the moon-space-days who has access to a computer and he and a friend of his, just for common interest, one day started out with two people (like Adam and Eve and their offspring), and remembering they lived for eight – nine hundred years.

People back then had tremendous health and vigor, and putting all those things into the mix, my friend said, you could easily come up with four billion people in that 1,600 years from Adam to the flood. And to me, it’s only reasonable that there were at least four billion people. And out of four billion, how many were saved? Eight. Now that’s a pretty small number. It’s frightening isn’t it?

And what did the Lord say? “Narrow is the way and few there be that find it, but broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many go in thereat.” That’s the way it’s always been.Mankind always tries to do things his way, rather than God’s way.

II Peter 2:5b

“…(Noah) a preacher of righteousness,.…” It wasn’t that the people didn’t have a chance. Noah preached for 120 years. For 120 years, Noah proclaimed to that generation (who I feel had as much technology as we do, and I’ve got reason for thinking that, so it wasn’t that he was limited because of communications. And so he let that whole generation know) that judgment was coming. And then, as I’ve pointed out when I taught this years and years ago, when the Ark was finished and everything was on board and God was ready to release the floodwaters from beneath and above, He gave them how much time? Seven more days. The gangplank stayed down from the Ark to the ground for seven days. For what purpose? That if anybody would wake up and realize that old Noah must be right, they could have gone on board. They could have – the opportunity was there. Seven days. I call it seven days of Grace. How many accepted it? Not a one!

In fact I made reference here several programs back, a book that I read about the time that I was teaching all this years back, by a Lutheran theologian out of – well, his book comes out of Concordia Publishing, and I’m sure quite a few of my listeners at the time ordered the book. But he made this analogy, that while Noah was building the Ark for the 120 years, as huge as that thing was, he must have had some extra hired help, as we’d call it – employees – to help in the building of the Ark. And they must have heard the old man preach. They must have heard him tell that a flood was coming and that’s what this box was getting ready for and it would be the salvation for anybody and anything that would come in.But when the box was finished and the animals were all on board; Noah’s family was on board; everything was ready for the deluge, but God says seven more days.

And then he made this observation, and isn’t this exactly the way it is today? People are busy working in the church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School lessons and so forth: and yet when eternity comes, they’re going to miss it. It’s frightening isn’t it? But true. There’s going to be multitudes as in Noah’s day. And why are they going to miss heaven? Because they have refused to believe Paul’s beautiful Gospel of Salvation that we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4 that he shared with you and I here in this Church Age. People are trying to get to Heaven every way except the right way!

All right and so, the flood came and only eight survived it out of, I guess, about four billion people. All right, verse 6, and we come up through history here. Now we’re past the flood a little over 400 years, and we’re at Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham and Lot were the ones that divided the land and Lot took Sodom remember? All right, so verse 6:

II Peter 2:6

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, (utterly destroyed them) making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly;” (as the Sodomites did). You see what the world is heading for? The same kind of a judgment. Oh it’s coming. People think I’m kidding when I say that almost the whole human race is going to disappear by the time the Tribulation ends, all six – seven billion of the human race is going to go because it’s got to be made ready for His glorious kingdom, and there can be nothing sinful or wicked in that kingdom. And so there’s the example. And that’s why Peter is using it. Even as God destroyed the iniquity before the flood, even as He destroyed the iniquity in Sodom and Gomorrah – and we all know what that was – and He condemned them with an overthrow and a total destruction because of their ungodly lifestyle.

Now we don’t know how big Sodom and Gomorrah were but I’m going to guess 18 or 20 thousand, because if I remember right, our guide told us when we were in Jericho that Jericho was a city of about 25 or 30 thousand and no doubt Sodom and Gomorrah were probably about the same. I’m guessing. But, out of however many thousand inhabitants were in Sodom and Gomorrah, how many escaped? One. Well, I know the two daughters, but nevertheless, for all practical purposes, spiritually speaking, Lot was the only “just” one.

II Peter 2:7

“And delivered just (righteous) Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:” That’s what the word ‘just’ means here; it doesn’t mean ‘only,’ it means the ‘righteous’ man, Lot. “Even though he was vexed with the filthy manner of living of the wicked.” That’s what they called it then and that’s what I call it today. It is a filthy manner of living.

II Peter 2:8

“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” Lot knew that all this that was going on was utterly wrong but, because of his position, because of his coveting materialism (because you want to remember Sodom and Gomorrah were prosperous. Sodom and Gomorrah had it made. To see that, let’s go to Ezekiel 16:49. Now this was Sodom and Gomorrah, And this is what hooked Lot. He wasn’t content to just be eking out an existence with Abraham and his flocks up there in the mountains), Lot got covetous.

And this is what makes me think that the world will maintain a certain level of prosperity until the Lord returns because the scenario was the same before the flood. The Lord Himself said it in Luke, that at the time of Noah what did they do? They married, and they gave in marriage. They built and they bought and they sold. It was a prospering economy. Well, look what Sodom and Gomorrah were when they were destroyed.

Ezekiel 16:49

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” In other words, they were selfish. They were nothing but “me first.”

Ezekiel 16:50

“And they were haughty, (proud – now we’re talking about the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah just before they’re destroyed.) and committed abomination before me: therefore (God says) I took them away as I saw good.” That was Sodom and Gomorrah; prosperous, materialistic. They had everything. They weren’t wanting for anything. And when you have an abundance of idleness, what does that speak of? Prosperity. Look at Rome before they fell. Why in the world did Rome build all the coliseums throughout the empire? To keep idle people occupied because, in their wealth, they didn’t have to work. They had so much wealth that all they did was let the conquered slaves do the everyday labor, and the end result, of course, was Rome imploded. Now back to II Peter. Let’s read verse 8 again, and we’ll be through.

II Peter 2:8

“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, [in the midst of all of their wickedness as well as their material prosperity] in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” Now what does that tell you? The man was a believer. He never lost that. But he became materialistic in his thinking – he left Abraham and his flocks and his herds to come down to materialistic, prosperous Sodom and Gomorrah; and as a result “he vexed himself day after day.”

655 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 55 - II Peter 1:1 - 2:8

655: 2 Peter 1:1 – 2:8 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 55

II Peter 1:1 – 2:8

All right, now we finished verse 15 of chapter 1 of II Peter in the last lesson, so we’re ready for verse 16. And here’s a verse that we can just take to heart for ourselves. Just as true for us as it was for these Jews, where Peter says:

II Peter 1:16a

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables,…” Now you know that’s what the scoffer claims the Bible is. Well, how can anybody be so foolish when we know that this Book is so intricately put together. Intricately! It all fits. And then they try to tell us that it was all concocted around the campfires of antiquity and some of these foolish statements. But Peter hits the nail on the head.

II Peter 1:16

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

Lest you think I’ve been stretching the envelope when I’ve been stressing all the time that these little epistles are looking forward to the coming of Christ again – now remember He’s been crucified, He’s ascended back to Glory – and, during these writings, we’re in those years just after that. And so they know there are seven years of Tribulation that are ahead of them, and then He’s going to return and yet set up the Kingdom, which we would call now the Second Coming. But turn with me to the little book of Jude. Only one chapter, verse 14. And I find it to be an interesting verse. Remember Jude is in the same category as Peter, James and John. And he writes:

Jude 1:14

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,” Well what was that? That’s a reference to His Second Coming and it’s what Peter is referring to that He’s going to be coming with power and glory.

All right, so that’s what Peter is referring to as we read in verse 16. “For we’ve made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” They know that He’s coming. Even though Peter has now realized that he probably won’t live to see it because he’s going to be martyred. But for these people to whom he’s writing, they can still expect everything to happen in their lifetime. All right, reading on in verse 16:

II Peter 1:16b

“…but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” They got a glimpse of what He’s going to be like when He returns. Just a glimpse. Because, after all, you want to remember that when Christ came at His first coming, He didn’t lay aside His Deity. He didn’t lay aside any of His righteousness or His holiness. But He did lay aside his glory. He did not walk up and down the dusty roads of Israel, shining brighter than the noonday sun. But, Peter, James and John did get a glimpse of it at the transfiguration and, of course, that’s back in Matthew chapter 17.

We looked at it briefly a couple of tapings ago, I think, but this is what Peter is referring to in his letter when he says that “we saw a glimpse of his majesty.” So let’s look at it again. Remember this is in His earthly ministry.

Matthew 16:28

“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, (and of course He’s referring to the Twelve) which shall not taste of death, till they see (physically) the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Now that threw a curve at them, didn’t it? That there would be some of them who would not die until they would see the coming of the kingdom. Now drop down into chapter 17 and we get what He was talking about.

Matthew 17:1-2a

“And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, (that would be one of the mountains of Israel) 2. And was transfigured before them: (He was just immediately changed from His common physical appearance to His Glorious) and his face did shine as the sun,.…” Now that’s not a stretch on words, that was just a glimpse of His glory. That was just a glimpse of His power.

Matthew 17:2b-3

“…and his raiment was white as the light. 3. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” Well, this is what Peter is making reference to, that he and James and John had the privilege of just getting this glimpse of a preview of the glory that is yet to follow. All right, so back to II Peter chapter 1 and verse 17.

II Peter 1:17

“For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, (And what did the voice say?) This is my beloved Son in whom I am (what?) well pleased.” My goodness what an experience! Does anyone remember where else that happened? At His baptism. The same identical thing, when the voice from Heaven said, word for word, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Now verse 18.

II Peter 1:18

“And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” Quite an experience! See we live by faith, don’t we? We live by faith, not by sight. But see, over and over throughout Israel’s history, quite a few Jews saw God in one way or another. We know Abraham did. We know Moses did. And Elijah probably did. And so various of the patriarchs saw God in human form back there. And then, of course, at His baptism, when they heard those words. But at the transfiguration, that was something I think that was so mind-boggling that Peter, James and John probably took a long time getting over it.

Now verse 19 is a verse that I’ve always really hung on to. As great as that experience was (and that was exhilarating. That was proof that this Jesus of Nazareth was Who He claimed to be, when He was transfigured right there before them and heard the voice from Heaven on top of all that. But), look at the next verse:

II Peter 1:19a

“We have also a more sure.…” Now what does that tell you? Do we have to have exhilarating experiences like the transfiguration to believe? No. We can take all this by faith, we don’t have to have sight. We don’t have to have experiences. We take it by faith. And that’s why I think in this Age of Grace we have so little of the supernatural, if any, because now God has given us the Word of God and He expects us to believe it. And that’s why it’s going to be so awful for people of unbelief because all He’s expected the human race to do is to believe what He’s said – and when they refused to believe, it’s almost a slap in the face, as it were, and telling Him, “But I don’t believe it.”

All right, now look at this next verse – even as great as that transfiguration experience was, Peter can yet say, again by inspiration, never forget this.

II Peter 1:19

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” Well now Who’s the Day Star? The Lord Jesus Christ. And how does He arise in our hearts? By faith! We take it all by faith and He becomes real to us. He’s with us moment by moment.

Now, once in a while things will happen to families and I can appreciate when they begin to wonder, “Where is God’s grace?” when just one horrible thing after another can happen. And that’s a human reaction. But on the other hand, we have to come right back and claim the promises of God that are sure – that, in spite of whatever may happen, He’s aware of us. He knows. And He’s with us and He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. All right, and so He is already in our walk of faith; He is the Day Star that has already arisen in our hearts. Now verse 20. Here is that which is more sure than even the proof of His transfiguration.

II Peter 1:20

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” Or a better translation I think is, of “human origin.” We can look at this Book and it is more of a manifestation of Who God is and what He has done and what He is to us, than the transfiguration was to Peter, James and John. Now I know that’s a strong statement. But listen, this Book is so refined. It is so intricately put together that we never have to doubt it. And it just proves itself precept upon precept. And even though the scoffers may scream and ridicule it, yet, we who see the intricacy of it, we know it is the Word of God. And we know it’s true. And we know that everything it says is going to happen IS going to happen.

We don’t have to have any doubt whatsoever. And so I like to make that comparison. Yes, Peter, James and John saw Christ transfigured. They saw His Glory with their physical eyes. But we’ve got something that’s even more sure and that is the Word of God itself. Now that’s exhilarating! Isn’t it? All right, let’s go on. Looking at the first part of that verse again.

II Peter 1:20a

“Knowing this first, (and above everything) that no prophecy.…” Now the word ‘prophecy’ here in the New Testament, usually does not mean telling the future, it means speaking forth. That’s why in I Corinthians 14, the greatest gift was prophecy, the giving of the gift to speak forth the Word of God before it was printed. Now, you all remember, I’m always emphasizing, there were about eighteen years from the time that Paul began his ministry among the Gentiles until he writes his first epistle. So, for eighteen years, what did the early believers depend on? Gifted men who could speak forth the Word of God and that’s why it was the primary gift. And then verse 21 is the answer.

II Peter 1:21

“For the prophecy (or again the speaking forth) came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved (or carried along) by the Holy Ghost.” And that’s the inspiration of Scripture. And you can pick it up all the way through the Book. I don’t ridicule very often, but when people will make foolish, stupid, statements like “Luke must have been a tremendous keeper of a diary or he could have never written any of the Four Gospels and the book of Acts.” Now, to me, that is ridiculous. No writer of Scripture went back to notes in a diary. They didn’t write on what they had remembered. They didn’t write on the basis of hearsay. They wrote as the Holy Spirit funneled those thoughts through their minds. And they were moved – that’s the inspiration of the Scripture.

Otherwise, how in the world could Moses write about creation, which took place 2,500 years before? How in the world could Moses write about his own death, which was out in front of him? But he did. That’s the inspiration of the Scriptures. See? And the same way with all of the writings of Scripture. How could these men name King Cyrus 150 years before he was ever born? By inspiration. How could Daniel lay out so perfectly the coming Gentile empires, one after the other, long before they happened? By inspiration. And so it is throughout this whole Book, that which is still future, it is just as reliable as that which is past. So the Holy Spirit moved holy men to write the things that God wanted written and, of course, as Paul puts it in II Timothy:

II Timothy 3:16

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

All right, now then I guess we can go on into chapter 2, and verse 1, and the first word you see is “But.” Now you know in the original there was no chapter break. But, horror of horrors, what has happened to the truth of the inspired Scriptures? Oh, it’s been attacked and underwritten and undermined, by what kind of people? False teachers.

II Peter 2:1

“But (even though the Scripture is true, even though holy men of God were moved by the Spirit to write) 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.” Now this is Peter. Who else says the same thing? Paul. Paul is constantly reminding his early converts “beware!” Beware. They’re coming! In fact his greatest warning is in Galatians 1. Let’s go back and look at it. God has had to put up with the Satanic attacks against Himself and His program and against His Word since day one. And it’s inspired by the adversary – Satan.

All right, but now you’ve got Galatians chapter 1 verse 6 – my, we use this over and over. But I don’t have to apologize for it because it is always apropos. Every day of the week, you’ve got this kind of thing going on, even in the Christian community.

Galatians 1:6

“I marvel (he’s amazed) that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ. (that is through Paul’s preaching) unto another gospel:” Now remember he’s writing to Gentiles who had just come out of paganism, idolatry and all that was part of that. And now Paul has established his Gospel of Grace; for them to believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. And here comes, immediately, the false teachers trying to undermine the Apostle’s teaching. And they’re falling for it – and he said, “I’m amazed. you’re falling into another gospel.” Now verse 7.

Galatians 1:7

“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, (it’s not something totally different, but these false teachers have taken what I have brought you ) and would pervert (or pollute) the gospel of Christ.” They’ve added to Paul’s pure Gospel of Salvation, just like many do today. But now look what Paul puts on these false teachers.

Galatians 1:8

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” In other words, in it’s purity. And that’s what he called it in Corinthians. He said, “I didn’t come to you with a false product, I came to you with the pure truth of the Gospel.” And here he’s reminding the Galatians of the same thing – that if you’re going to partake of anything but the truth of Paul’s Gospel of salvation, then you’re going to be in trouble. And the messengers that have perverted Paul’s message are going to be accursed. And in verse 9, Paul repeats that warning. They’re under the anathema of God. False teachers. And oh the world is full of them. Always has been.

I was just talking with somebody on the phone last night and they had such a heartache (which reminded me of Paul and his heartache). So turn with me to II Timothy, chapter 1. What a heartbreaking statement; and again inspired by the Holy Spirit. And this is what Paul writes to Timothy in verse 15.

II Timothy 1:15a

“This thou knowest, that all they…” And I’m a stickler for words. I believe it was every one of them. I think that all of these believers that had become followers of the Apostle Paul had all turned against him and had followed the false teachers. Well, we’re seeing it today – wholesale. The further out in left field these guys get, the bigger the crowds. All right, completing the verse.

II Timothy 1:15-16

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia (now remember Asia is Asia Minor, that’s present day Turkey) be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus, and Hermogenes. (of course, were the leaders) 16. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:”

But nevertheless, coming back to II Peter now, it’s always been this way. Let me remind you. How long was it after Abel had brought the right kind of a sacrifice and was accepted of God (Cain, on the other hand, brought the wrong sacrifice and was not accepted; which immediately put a wall of demarcation between those two young brothers, how long was it) until Satan intervened with the crime of murder? Not long. And Cain rose up and killed Abel. Well, who prompted Cain to kill Abel? Well, the Devil did, of course. And why? Because Satan thought that if he could get rid of that very first prodigy in the promises, that would end it all and he’d have the victory before it ever started.

Well, that’s the way it’s been all the way up through human history. As soon as God revealed something, Satan attacks it with everything he’s got. And that’s why I’m always reminding people everywhere I go, “Why in the world do you suppose Israel has always had so much opposition? The satanic power. Why do you suppose the world in general tonight would like to drive the Israelites into the sea and be rid of the problem? Satanic power. But it’s not going to happen because God is always victorious, He has always overcome.”

All right, back to II Peter, chapter 2, and verse 1 again. Oh, the warning against false teachers. But in spite of the divine revelation of the writers of Scriptures:

II Peter 2:1

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily (or secretly. They’re not going to come out and get into a pulpit and say, hey – I’m going to lead you astray today. No. They come in secretly, underhandedly,) shall bring in damnable (or condemnational) heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (they’re not going to get by with it)

II Peter 2:2a

“And many (many, not a few – many – Paul said all. Peter says many) shall follow their pernicious ways;….” Goodness sakes, if you know anything about medicine, you should know what the word ‘pernicious’ means. We’ve got a disease called what? Pernicious anemia. Well, what’s the disease pernicious anemia? It’s a disease that eats away the red blood cells; and that’s why, when someone gets anemic, they lose their color, because pernicious anemia is constantly chewing up and destroying the red blood cells. Well the word means the same thing here. These false teachers are perniciously chewing up the truth so that it becomes useless. Now finishing verse 2.

II Peter 2:2b

“…by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” My goodness, if you read anything at all you know this is what we’re up against. I read it on every hand, that this is exactly what they’re doing with the truth. They’re chewing it up and spitting it aside. Now verse 3.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness.…” Now we talked about coveting the last half-hour didn’t we? It just pops up in Scripture because it’s the number one sin of the human race. It’s the one that Paul said opened him up to his sinful state, that when the Law said, “Thou shalt not covet,” then Paul or Saul at that time suddenly realized that he was guilty, as guilty can be.

654 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 55 - The Believer’s Virtue - Part 2

654: The Believer’s Virtue – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 55

The Believer’s Virtue – Part 2

II Peter 1:1 – 2:8

We’d like to thank you for joining with us today as we continue on with our study of II Peter. In the last lesson we got all the way through verse 8, so jump in at verse 9.

II Peter 1:9

“But he that lacketh these things (in other words, all these good things that are part and parcel of godly living) is blind, (that is spiritually blind) and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” In other words, Peter is talking to believers who have been less than spiritual and, of course, Paul deals with the same thing. And so Peter is admonishing these believers to shape up and realize that, without actually walking the Christian walk, it’s awfully easy to fall back into those old habits. All right, verse 10.

II Peter 1:10

“Wherefore the rather, (or on the other hand) brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

Now Peter is not ascribing their salvation to doing these good things. Let’s go back and look at them. It was in the last program. Look at them in verses 5, 6, 7. These are the things he’s talking about. Don’t neglect these things because these are the manifestation of your saving faith. And Paul would say the same thing to us.

II Peter 1:5-7

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (or love.) See, all these things are part and parcel of the godly walk. Now let’s just, again for sake of comparison, come back to how Paul puts it in Galatians. Galatians chapter 5 and this is when you can see that both of these men are writing by the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit. They’re both writing Scripture. They’re both admonishing believers. But, Paul is writing to us Gentiles in this Age of Grace, whereas Peter is still addressing Jews who are, as yet, unaware of Paul’s Gospel of salvation, and they’re still associated with Gospel of the Kingdom, Christ’s earthly ministry, the believers of Pentecost of Acts chapter 2, and the Jewish economy in general. Here is how Paul addresses us in the Gentile Body of Christ. Let’s jump in at verse 16.

Galatians 5:16

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, (in other words, walk in the control of the Holy Spirit) and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” You see, it’s almost the exact language. Now verse 17.

Galatians 5:17

“For the flesh (the old Adamic Nature) lusteth (or warreth) against the Spirit, (and His admonishing) and the Spirit (on the other hand is going to war) against (the Old Adam) the flesh: and these (these two natures) are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (without having a fight). There’s always that constant battle. Now, Paul lists all the things that Peter is warning his followers to avoid, although Peter doesn’t delineate them quite as clearly as Paul does. Here Paul tells us to avoid the following:

Galatians 5:19-21

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. (all the sexual immorality sins; and then comes all the things of the mind) 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions heresies. 21. (then you go into the grosser aspect) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” But then in verse 22 you have the flipside of all of that.

Galatians 5:22-23a

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance:.…”

Those are almost the same words that Peter uses. Almost the same language but under two totally different economies. All right, now then, back to II Peter again and pick up how he is admonishing his followers (Jewish believers), I think still in the Kingdom economy. They’re not members of the Body of Christ; they are worshipping in synagogues as we saw back in James. All right, now then, back into II Peter chapter 1 verse 11.

II Peter 1:11

“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Now remember Peter is not referring to the kingdom in a post-resurrection like we’re looking for it. Peter was looking for this same earthy kingdom to still come down in their lifetime, if they could survive the horrors of the Tribulation that was coming (and then they would go into the Kingdom and they would enjoy all the blessings and the ramifications of it).

Now of course, we in this Age of Grace, are now coming to the end of 1,900-and-some years since Paul began this economy. We’re not looking to go into the Tribulation – we’re looking for the escape from it as Paul promises the Gentile Body of Christ. And then after receiving our new body, we will become part and parcel, to a degree, of that glorious kingdom that is still coming. And always remember it’s an earthly kingdom. It’s going to be heaven on this earth and Christ is going to rule from Jerusalem. But of course, Peter and his followers (as I’ve said over and over these last several months), thought this was all going to happen in their lifetime.

Now verse 12, and Peter is going to begin with “Wherefore.” And never forget, it’s the Holy Spirit moving him to write every word.

II Peter 1:12

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” In other words, what they’ve had revealed to them. Now I imagine I should qualify when I keep talking about “these are Gospel of the Kingdom believers.” Come back with me all the way to Matthew. Been a long time since we’ve done it on the program. We did in some of our seminars in Ohio and Indiana last week, but let’s come back to Matthew chapter 9, so that you’ll see where I pick up my terminology, some of the words that I use over and over. Here in Matthew chapter 9, Christ is just beginning His earthly ministry. And let’s begin with verse 35.

Matthew 9:35a

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,…” (that is in the land of Israel.) Always remember He never went outside the borders of Israel. Even Tyre and Sidon, the cities that were Gentile on the coast of the Mediterranean, He didn’t enter into them. He only went as far as the city limits. He never went into Gentile territory. (Matthew 10:5-6)

Matthew 9:35b

“…teaching in their synagogues, (see that? Not their churches, their synagogues) and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,.…”

Not the Gospel of the Grace of God, but rather the Gospel of the Kingdom. Two totally different entities. Two totally different economies. This is still under the Law. This is to Israel and Jew only, and now He’s preaching the Good News of the Kingdom. Well, what’s the Good News of the Kingdom? It’s coming! It’s coming within their lifetime, it’s at hand.

Matthew 9:35c

“…healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

All right, now then come over to chapter 16 and here’s where we can put feet to that Gospel of the Kingdom by Peter’s confession. Matthew 16. And I can’t repeat it often enough, because over and over someone will come up and say, “Well now, what’s the difference again between the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of Grace?” Well, the Gospel of the Kingdom is what Jesus and the Twelve preached to the Jews in view of their coming King and Kingdom. And the basis of their Faith was to believe that Jesus was that promised King. Just that simple. They were to believe Who He was.

And that doesn’t change all through Peter’s ministry. Never does Peter say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ that He died for your sins and that He was buried and was risen from the dead.” Peter never preaches that. That’s Paul’s Gospel of salvation, so Peter’s confession of faith carries all the way through on these Jewish believers. This is what they had believed.

Matthew 16:13a

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi,…” Remember that’s up in northern Israel, headwaters of the Jordan River. And it’s at the end, now, of His three years – not at the beginning like we just read. This is three years later.

Matthew 16:13b-16

“…he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (and look what they said. Here was Israel’s unbelief again) 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist:, some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, (here was his profession of faith) Thou art the Christ, (you’re the Messiah, you’re the Promised One) the Son of the living God.’” Period!

Not a word about the cross, not a word about resurrection. Not a word about shed blood. But rather “Thou art the Christ.” Now I wish people could see that. That was the Good News of the Kingdom. This is what those Jews were to believe – Who He was. Now let me give you a good example. It’s been a long time since we’ve spent any time in Acts. Stop in Acts chapter 3 and this is more good evidence of the same concept. This is where Peter has healed the lame man and the Jewish leaders are all concerned and upset. How did you do this? They couldn’t remember seven weeks earlier – Jesus was doing it all the time? But just because a few weeks had elapsed and now Peter, James and John can raise him, they’re all amazed and wondering, see? Let’s begin with verse 12.

Acts 3:12-15

“And when Peter saw it, (that is to the wondering and amazement of the Jewish people over the healing of the lame man) he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, (see how Jewish this is, there’s no Gentiles in that statement) why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness, we made this man to walk? 13. The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murder to be granted unto you; 15. And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” Now here it comes, that same profession of faith that we just saw in Matthew 16. And this is what Peter is asking of his Jewish listeners.

Acts 3:16a

“And his name (the name of Jesus of Nazareth) through faith in his name….” Not in His death, burial and resurrection, but rather in His Name. They were simply to believe that Jesus was the Christ. That was the Gospel of the Kingdom. Now the Gospel of the Grace of God in Church Age, of course, is I Corinthians 15: 1-4. Maybe we’d better look at that. Jerry never gets tired of telling me, “Hey it’s been a while since you shared that beautiful Gospel of salvation.”

So let’s just stop at it. And I want you to see the difference. What a difference! Same God. Same Holy Spirit is inspiring it, but yet, here we have this difference of what we’re to believe as Gentiles and what the Jews were to believe as the children of Abraham. I Corinthians chapter 15, the first four verses. Now this is the Gospel of the Grace of God. Now there aren’t two Gospels of salvation today – there’s only one, and this is what you must believe in your heart for salvation. Today there’s only one. You can’t use the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus and Peter used. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul tells us we must use his Gospel.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (now here comes Paul’s Gospel of salvation) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Now that’s what we’re to believe today. Now for comparison back up once again to Acts chapter 3, I want you to see this! Acts chapter 3 again verse 16, now this is the only way we can learn. Compare Scripture with Scripture. You can’t mix them all up. You can’t just put it in a blender, turn it up on high and ladle it out without people getting sick to their stomach because it’s a whole ‘duke’s mixture’ that doesn’t fit. You’ve got to rightly divide the Word of God. Remember Paul’s letters are to us in the Body of Christ: the rest of Scripture is for our learning, but not doctrine – they were written to the Nation of Israel.

All right, so Paul says that we’re saved by believing in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins, He was buried and He rose from the dead. Peter says this man was made whole because he believed:

Acts 3:16a

“And his name through faith in his name….” Not through what He had done, but Who He was. Well, it’s exactly what Peter professed in Matthew 16, “Thou art the Christ. You’re the Promised Messiah.” Not a word about what He would do for them. But Who He was. All right, now I hope I’ve made my point.

You know, as I was coming up, I couldn’t help but think that, if the Lord has given me this opportunity to teach (and that’s what I feel He has. I’m not an evangelist, I’m not a preacher, but He has given me this opportunity to teach), then it becomes my responsibility to teach in such a way that the simplest of the simple can understand it. And that’s what I try to do and that’s why I repeat and repeat. And as I was driving up, I got to thinking – I hadn’t been on television too many years and a retired English teacher from Tulsa wrote me a nice little note and commended me for not butchering the king’s English. In other words, she commended me for my good English. Well, I wrote right back and I said, “I have to give all the credit for whatever I can do with the English language to my high school English teacher up in Iowa.” Well, she wrote right back, and said, “Have you ever thanked her for it?” No! I hadn’t. It never dawned on me.

So a few months later we were on our way up to one of our Minnesota seminars and we pulled through that little town in northern Iowa and lo and behold, she was still alive, and I was kind of surprised. She said, “Les! I wasn’t that old when you were in high school!” And you know what we all know? When you’re a kid fourteen, fifteen years old, someone who’s thirty is over the hill! Isn’t that right? And so I guess that was about our age difference, if that. So, anyhow, she was very spry and alert and she was in her own apartment and so Iris and I stopped by to visit with her.

And I said, “Now you know the reason I stopped by is to thank you – thank you for teaching me English.” I had her for four years. And then she shared this with me and that is why I’m bringing it in here. I’m remembering it even as I teach Scripture. She said, “You know Les, when I first got to college, I had intended to become a Mathematics teacher because I loved math and it was so easy for me. But she said, “My counselor said, ‘No, you don’t want to teach a subject that’s easy for you; you’ll never be a good teacher.’” And doesn’t that make sense? The counselor said, “Instead, choose a field that you don’t like and that is hard for you.” “Well,” she said, “that would have to be English.” And so she said, “That’s why I went into teaching English.”

Well, I’ll tell you, she was a master teacher of English. And she could make it interesting, and she could teach it in such a way that it just stuck with me. Oh, I make an occasional error, I don’t claim to be perfect – but I think, for the most part, I have to admit that she taught me quite well. All right, now I’m going to bring that same thing into my teaching of the Scripture. I want to make it as interesting as I can. I want to make it so plain that anybody can understand it. And that’s why I will come back and forth and repeat and repeat because that’s what teaching demands. I’m not just here to preach at you for a half-an-hour and then let you go. We want you to be able to understand so that you, as Paul says, can do what?“Teach others also.”

In fact, I think maybe we’re reaching a lot more people though our television audience teaching others than are actually hearing me. And so this is the reason we do these things. All right, back to II Peter if I may, and reading on now verse 12.

II Peter 1:12-13a

“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. (that is knowing Who Jesus of Nazareth was with regard to Israel) 13. Yea, I think it meet, (I think it’s appropriate) as long as I am in this tabernacle,…” Well now what’s the other word for tabernacle? Tent. And what’s the purpose of a tent? Temporary. So what’s he referring to? This body of flesh. It’s temporary, it’s not permanent. It’s only here for a little while. Paul used the same term in II Corinthians 5, when he said, “and when this earthly tabernacle (this temporary tent) is laid aside.” Now finishing verse 13.

II Peter 1:13b-14

“…to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14. Knowing that shortly (now this is where Peter suddenly realizes that he is not going to live to see the Tribulation and the Kingdom, he’s going to face martyrdom) I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” Now you know what I have to think? Come back with me to John’s Gospel, chapter 21, and let’s begin down there at verse 18. You know I’ve thought of this over the years. It would almost seem as though Peter forgot all about this for many, many years. It just never entered his mind until he is closing his second epistle. Now I’m guessing, but it would just almost seem that way.

All right, now here, this is just after the three times when Jesus asked him, “Do you love Me? Feed My sheep.” We referred to that a few programs back and Peter was always faithful that he fed the sheep of God’s pasture, which are Israel. That’s why he made the agreement in Galatians chapter 2, when he was glad enough to shake hands with Paul and say, “I will stay with Israel, you go to the Gentiles.”

All right, now look what the Lord Jesus told him after he had just said in verse 17, “Feed my sheep.” Then verse 18 and you would think it would have haunted Peter all his days, but I don’t believe it did. I believe he just almost forgot about it.

John 21:18

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”

What was Jesus foretelling? Peter’s death by crucifixion. Now church legend has it (we can’t prove it from Scripture) that he refused to be crucified as his Lord was, so they crucified him upside-down, which I think would have been horrible. But nevertheless, this is what he suddenly remembers now in II Peter chapter 1 when he says that he is now ready to leave this earthly tabernacle, remembering what the Lord had said. All right, II Peter 1:15:

II Peter 1:15-16

“Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (see he knows he’s going to die) to have these things always in remembrance. 16. For we, (he and the other apostles)have not followed cunningly devised fables, (or stories or legends) when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

In other words, Peter says, we’re not kidding. Christ is coming. He’s still going to set up His Earthly Kingdom, even though Peter’s pretty sure he’s not going to live to see it now. But he says, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Now, let’s come all the way back to Acts chapter 1. This is why I think Peter must have almost forgotten immediately what the Lord said about his demise. I just can’t see him remembering it until you get to II Peter. Acts chapter 1 verse 6. And this is just after the forty days after the resurrection, and He’s ready to ascend back to Glory from the Mount of Olives and He’s meeting there on the mountain with the Eleven. And verse 6, this is Peter speaking.

Acts 1:6

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Oh now don’t forget, they had remembered that they were going to rule the Twelve Tribes from the twelve thrones in Jerusalem. And whenever I use this verse I always point out – listen, the Lord didn’t ridicule him for talking about an earthly kingdom. The Lord didn’t say, “Peter where did you ever get such an idea?” But oh, the Lord said:

Acts 1:7a

“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,….”