Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are 2 Peter 1-3, the whole book!
- This book is written to the same audience that Peter’s first letter was written to. We learn this in 2 Peter 3:1
- From the contents of the letter, we can surmise that Peter received a report that false prophets and teachers had permeated the body of Believers and so Peter was writing to staunchly warn them as well as encourage them to remain steadfast in the faith and not be led away.
- Further, we can also gather that there was infighting among the body and Peter addresses this head on as well.
2 Peter 1:1 begins with a bold statement:
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ
Now keep in mind that this was a time in which the faith was exploding. Gentiles were being allowed into synagogues and fellowships, Jews were coming to see Yeshua as the Messiah, and at the center of it all were the apostles, who, for most of these people, were as close as they’d ever bodily get to the Messiah on this side of eternity. At this time, we can only imagine the status that apostles had in the body of believers.
And yet, they remained humble and insisted on pointing Believers to Yeshua rather than allowing them to hold them in revered or messianic status. This is surprising because, at the time, the pharaoh was considered a god and most religious officials held themselves up as the authority. Here you have the apostles, remaining humble and using whatever influence they wielded in order to point folks away to YHWH through the example of His son, Yeshua.
Peter took that even further with this statement, declaring this mixed multitude of believers, no doubt at least some Gentiles in among the Jewish brethren, to have obtained a faith of equal standing to that of the apostles. While it was a true statement then as it is now, it was definitely a groundbreaking one to make in a culture in which religion typically enforced and abused a system of hierarchy.
2 Peter 1:3-11 This is a clear directive in how to respond to our calling so pay careful attention. We are called to be increasing in knowledge of YHWH’s word, increasing in Godliness, in brotherly love, and in virtue. We all begin on milk but we are to be working our way up to solid foods and from there steadily working our way to tougher and more nutrient dense spiritual food. Why?
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Yeshua. 2 Peter 1:8
Y’all, He has lifted me out of deep waters. He has heard my cries and He has delivered me. He has forgiven my sins and He has put a hunger within me to know Him and His Word and then He has satisfied that hunger time and again and continues to do so daily. For all the lovingkindness, grace, and mercy that He has shown me, I do not want to be counted as ineffective and unfruitful in return. We have one life here on this earth. Let us not get distracted by the drama, the temptation, and the sparkly things. When our Father calls out to us, let us be paying attention so that we immediately answer that call.
2 Peter 1:20-21 is a reminder about false prophets. We’ve had countless false prophets since civilization began but I’ve seen many rising up this year and a disturbing trend of YHWH’s people following after them with zeal. A true prophet will lead you to YHWH rather than having you waiting on them to share another “dream” on youtube. They will not lead you to other “gods” as is warned in Deuteronomy 13. Keep in mind that anything can become an idol (god). Patriotism can become an idol. Money can become an idol. False prophets can become an idol. We can become idols in our own lives.
Here is what I know and what has proven true time and time again:
YOU CAN ALWAYS TRUST IN YHWH’S WORD.
You can always always always trust in His word. A quick fix from a false prophet will never take the place of a deep and diligent study of His word.
I do not want to be found listening to, watching, or sitting under one of these. To jump ahead a bit, 2 Peter 3:14 tells us that we should be found being diligent, without spot or blemish, and at peace. If Messiah came back today, would He find us diligent, without spot or blemish, and at peace? Would he find us sowing peace in the lives of others? Would He find us looking only to His Word as our source of truth and His example on how to walk that out?
So what do we do when other folks start following after false prophets and dreamers of dreams? We go to the Word.
2 Peter 2 is filled with descriptions of false prophets and their behavior. Keep in mind that a false prophet does not have to exhibit all of these characteristics, these are merely a complete laundry list. A false prophet could just be wearing one sock from that laundry pile and be just as false as someone wearing a full set of clothes from it.
This is a serious chapter to read at least a few times and take to heart. While it is tempting to search our minds and our news cycles for an example in our time – and we’d surely find them – it is better to know the Word rather than try to attach it to a person, because many more are coming and if we attach this learning to a person now we will be less likely to recognize them. It is more important to know the prophecy itself rather than an interpretation of a prophecy – the same principle applies to this. It is better to know the characteristics of a false prophet rather than a list of who we think are false prophets in our time. We want to focus on knowing those characteristics so that we are not easily deceived as greater and greater false prophets rise up and lead huge swaths of YHWH’s people astray.
2 Peter 3 gives us more to look for in these last days and reminds us that while we feel YHWH is tarrying, He is actively fulfilling both His promises and His prophecies. We work on His timeline, not our own. Pay careful attention to instructions on how to live in this chapter and pay more attention still to key words that are often overlooked in a quick reading, such as the word “deliberately” in 2 Peter 3:5.
We end with the infamous warning from Peter about Paul’s writings. Living in a society of believers overshadowed by antinomian and Paulinist doctrine today, it is ominous to read.
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:14-18
Let us grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior and bring glory to Him now and to the day of eternity.
We are nearing the finish line! Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!